Anyone who has an interest in getting to and from work in the quickest time possible with a minimal amount of stress pretty much gets the Dubai Metro. And rightly so, because while everyone else is sat crying and not moving in traffic listening to some American radio DJ talk about Lady Gaga turning up at an awards ceremony in an egg, like it’s the answer to something, metro users would be cruising by SZR laughing at them, or mainly playing Candy Crush or something equally disturbing on their smart devices. But at least they were moving. Well, sadly those days are now gone for good it would appear.
What’s going on?
Since the expertly executed New Year’s Eve Metro debacle, which just gets better every year and this time saw probably around a million people walking 10 to 20km through the desert that runs alongside Sheikh Zayed Road because they weren’t allowed to use public transport, RTA has now taken the creative step of directing the Afghan and Omani Police guys who sit in the stations to prevent anyone from getting on the Metro between 5pm and about 7pm.
It’s fun, because it doesn’t happen every day, so it’s unpredictable, but it happens about four or five days a month.
Is there a fault, are they doing some upgrades, or are they just trying something new? Who knows, but it would seem odd for a reoccurring fault that just so happens to come back at the same, busiest time every month. That would be some bad luck right there.
Most nights when the new format of “everybody queuing outside the Metro Station for an hour before crushing each other in desperation to get home” happens, Metro users can expect an extra hour to be added onto their journey. Particularly at stations such as Business Bay and Dubai Mall (where the poor tourists have to suffer alongside the people that keep the city running), the queues are very long and quite lively. Dubai is well-documented to be a city full of space invaders when it comes to standing in line, which is nice. It’s sometimes good to feel a stranger’s breath on the back of your neck, is it not?
Happy Dubai Metro Users
One happy Metro user exclaimed: “I don’t mind waiting and everything and also it’s nice to wait outside to get some fresh air, but I don’t know if it’s the best idea to keep doing this at the busiest time for the Metro – rush hour. It’s an odd choice, but I believe they are doing it for a good reason.”
Another said: “They are stopping humans from free flowing in an orderly fashion for some reason and are keeping us queuing outside. It is getting a bit warmer now too so hopefully they decide not to do this anymore and just let people get onto the platforms at rush hour like they do in normal cities.”
Historically, RTA has utilised this new-look people control methodology about three times a week every three to four weeks. Yesterday was the first day for a while that we saw thousands of people stranded for hours outside the busiest metro stations, and we wait with anticipation to see what might occur today!
When asked if there was any way that the ongoing experiment could be conducted at any other times rather than the very busiest, an RTA official was unable to say.