Dubai’s Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) recorded an impressive jump in Dubai metro passenger traffic figures in September of 5.9 million following the opening of the Green line.

In September, the RTA recorded 4.6 million passengers on the Red line and 1.3 passengers on the Green line. The Green line began operating on 10 September.

The proximity of metro stations to key retail developments in Dubai is also a major factor behind the increase in traffic. The Red line stations that recorded the most traffic in September include Union station with 423,000 passengers, Khalid bin al-Waleed station with 389,500 passengers, Deira City Centre recorded 371,448 passengers and Mall of the Emirates had 330,500 passengers.

It was a similar story for the Green line, with stations close to shopping and commercial areas also recording the most traffic. Al-Fahidi station in Bur Dubai attracted the largest number of users in September with 156,000 passengers. Baniyas Station recorded 153,000 passengers, Oud Metha station recorded 97,358 passengers while Al-Ghubaiba station recorded 97,000 passengers in September.

The RTA expects the metro will handle 100,000 passengers each day over the rest of 2011. In September, the average number of passengers a day stood at about 30,000.

The opening of the Green line and its successful first month has had a positive knock-on effect on retailers close to the metro stations.

Shopping malls near the Green line have already recorded an increase in visitors. BurJuman Mall, next to Khalid bin al-Waleed station, and Al-Ghurair centre, located close to Union Square, have both recorded increases in footfall in September.

Both malls are being expanded and, due to their locations at the intersections of both the Red and Green lines, they enjoy huge volumes of daily traffic. Going forward, these malls will compete with actual retail space available within the stations themselves. The RTA said earlier that almost 200 retail units are available for rent in select stations.

Of this, 116 units would be on the Red line and the remaining 79 outlets at Green line stations.

In the metro’s first year of operation, it carried a total of 30 million passengers. In the first six months of 2011 alone, 28.9 million passengers have already travelled on Dubai metro.

The RTA is aiming to reduce the use of private vehicles and increase the use of public transport to 30 per cent by 2020. Currently, the use of public transport in 2011 is about 11 per cent. The number of passengers on the public buses was more than 54 million, passengers using water transport, including abras and water taxis, hit 7.2 million, while Dubai’s taxis carried about 90 million passengers in the first six months of 2011.