Monday, 18 May 2009

My City. My Metro. My !!!

Your humble correspondent was somewhat disconcerted yesterday to pass a number of advertisements along Dubai's Sheikh Zayed Road, multiply proclaiming 'My City. My Metro.'.

I can only assume this is 'awareness building'. In fact, according to the RTA's own press release, chucklesomely headlined 'RTA Embarks on Massive Metro Marketing Camapaign:

"This marketing campaign runs for one year and comprises three phases to cover the project comprehensively. Phase I focuses on the project introduction in terms of launch timing, shape design and message selection i.e. (My Metro). Phase II is the basic stage comprising all information related to the metro operation, fare, public services, station services, multi-modal integration, and security & safety means. Phase III is the preparatory phase that sets the stage for the launch day on 09/09/2009; also incorporating a supplement to Phase II."

Now don't for a second think that I'm being snarky about this, but the World's Largest Rollercoaster(TM) runs all the way along the Sheikh Zayed Road, occluding much of one's view to the left of said road when travelling in a Southerly direction and the view to the right when travelling in a Northerly direction. *

For well over a year now, we've been watching those pillars supporting massive yellow machines that have been slotting the whole massive Lego kit together, we've seen the armadillo stations take shape and exclaimed with childish delight and wonder when we've all seen our first train moving. We've been talking about it, we've been living with it - including the diversions and traffic jams that have inevitably accompanied a project of such scale.


Now that we've established that, can we all please save some of the money that's being wasted and get down to the job of actually communicating information of value to people so that we can all start to make our minds up about the most crucial question that is begged by this stunning piece of engineering: will any of us actually want to use it?

*Forgive me, but I have been Irish since my health test.
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EyeOnDubai said...

Nice render of the double deck road past the Murooj!


alexander... said...

Render of double deck road past the Murooj ("Dubai Metro Decoration" according to the RTA website and I was too stupid/distracted/amused at finding myself Irish to notice)duly replaced.


ghoonk said...

Sorry, mate, but I don't think it's going to be a case of whether any of us WANT to use it -- like Singapore, they are going to find ways and means to indirectly tax people into using public transport

- More SALIK gates
- Higher SALIK fees
- Higher prices of petrol
- Paid parking
- Road tax?
- Higher insurance (I'm sure the insurance companies can wake up one day and declare huge loss ratios due to the inordinately high number of traffic accidents here, and up insurance premiums by 200% -- "deal with it or find some other insurer"

Media Junkie said...

don't forget the pricing plan. equally important.

sabaza said...

This project (which I agree, we all know about already) is one of the most obscure large scale projects ever...

We need to know:

- How much is it going to cost?

- How many trains are running and at what frequency?

- What is the mechanism of payment/access?

- Is there going to be an RFID access system similar to Oyster/Octopus etc.. which will allow people, particularly residents to not have to queue to purchase a ticket every time

- What will the support network (primarily buses) look like? There is one of the new Right Angle Media bus stations around the corner from almost every metro station. When will they be operational? And will there be more buses with better planned routes?

Yesterday there was an announcement of Free parking for Metro users at the three major stations around Dubai (Al Qusais, Jumeirah Islands and Rashidiya. While this is a positive step, it's a total capacity of 12000-16000 cars. That's a good start...but a plan needs to be in place for more!!

Sorry to hijack your post Alex, but i can't find anywhere on RTA website where I can ask these questions (or at least not a place where I can get some answers...I stand a better chance posting here!)

The Truth said...

I think they should tax the poorer people off the roads, especially the Asian drivers who come from poorer villages and have no concept of the highway code or things like indicating, checking mirrors, and who think it is completely fine to totter along in the 2nd lane (From the left) at 60km on a major highway.

Controversial? Yes. True? Hell yes.

The sooner they are taken off the roads, the safer driving will be.

Of course that still leaves the problem of what to do with the reckless gulf nationals in their 500bhp beasts, but hey, you fix a problem one step at a time.

samuraisam said...

"I think they should tax the poorer people off the roads, especially the Asian drivers who come from poorer villages and have no concept of the highway code or things like indicating, checking mirrors, and who think it is completely fine to totter along in the 2nd lane (From the left) at 60km on a major highway."That comment might be somewhat accurate provided the RTA actually published a highway code, which they do not. The police don't enforce the rules either. If no one knows the rules and no one gets called on breaking the rules and the only thing governing the rodes are those blue boxes (speed cameras) then no one will care and everyone just treats it like a game trying to dodge getting speeding fines.

Dubai Jazz said...

I'm still uneasy about the fact that the metro is driverless. I may need some counceling about that, you hear RTA?

The Truth said...

sam, part of the blame lies with the RTA and lack of enforcement, true. But a major part of the problem is the mentality of the drivers as well. You can't blame anything over than pure stupidity when you see some drivers just carelessly backing out onto a road without checking to see if a car is approaching. That is nothing but a lack of brains, and such drivers should be off the roads. They dont have the brainpower needed to handle a car.

I remember reading something in the papers that the majority of accidents per capita were caused by young GCC nationals and Indians/Pakistanis. What does that tell you? Coming from a small village they often have no concept of lane discipline, indicating, being aware of your presence on the road etc so it's no wonder they think reversing back up a major motorway because of a missed exit is acceptable.

Mr Hobnob said...

And there was me thinking that I had TM'd the "Armadillo" nomenclature.... You pinch that off of me, Macca?

alexander... said...

a) I think Brandy Scott was first to 'armadillo' in public.

b) As NYT's Dowd will tell you, TM is a thing of the past.

c) Sue me.

d) Anyway, what to do?

rosh said...

The Truth; couldn't agree more!

the real nick said...

@ the "Truth" (of what?)

You are a racist idiot, and that's the Truth. Would you please come to terms with the fact that you no longer are back home in Birmingham or elsewhere in that mollycoddling PC nannystate where motorists are gatso'd every five meters for the pleasure of driving at 30mph, but instead in a country where we as Western expats represent a minority of 8% of the population whereas 60-70% of the population are from the Indian subcontinent or other Arab states who are driving the way they are used to in the absence of a highway code, and who are either driving in the absence of proper public transport or for a commercial purpose. This ain't Leeds-on-Sea so get over it and ADAPT, moron.

rosh said...

"population are from the Indian subcontinent or other Arab states who are driving the way they are used to in the absence of a highway code,"

Nick, doesn't cut ice. Absence of a highway code does NOT justify 3rd world driving culture, for the most part.

Most of us go through some stringent driving tests - including the basics! And let me tell you, SHJ's Driving Institute had some patient tutors (Indians/Paks/Arabs) who shared some sentiments similar to that of 'The Truth'. I'm not implying all from the Subcontinent and Arab world are horrid, of course not! However, I've experienced the above way too many times. It's like there's almost an inherent lack of proper driving sense/culture. And this, is no less an evil to drunk driving.

Driving comes with goddamn RESPONSIBILITY.

The Truth said...

Real nick, I am NOT a racist (and no, this isn't the "I'm not a racist but..." line) I am just looking at FACTS.

You do not just ADAPT if the driving culture is moronic and dangerous. You take action, drastic action if needed and solve it. The UAE has one of the most dangerous roads in the world, despite being probably one of the most well-built. This high accident rate can't continue at all.

I am not suggesting only certain nationalities should drive. Instead, I am suggesting that, just as the system SHOULD be, if a person can't display basic driving abilities, such as use of indicators, checking lanes, being road 'aware', then they should be taxed off the road.

There are two ways of correcting a problem, ban it, or tax it to make it less attractive a proposition. I recommend going for the latter and see how that goes.

The standard of driving and driving ability is completely poor. I was at one of the test centres a while ago and noticed a few people on the computers taking the theory test where they had to choose what the different road signs meant. A few people had failed terribly, guessing one or two right (out of 20?) I cant remember.
A friend that went through the process of getting a driving license here also told me about how one of the people being tested barely got the car out of the testing centre. He kept stalling. That was his FIFTH test.

Point is, that lack of knowledge is really astonishing. It makes you wonder how many clueless idiots go driving around (actually there is no need to wonder, just look at the accident rate). How can you just say "adapt" when there are people being pointlessly killed everyday? How the hell can you say "get over it" when some fog results in a 200 car pile up on AD-DXB Highway? If you think all those deaths dont warrant the need for drastic action, then YOU are the moron, not me.

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