FIRST LOOK: What's On - and not many others! - on Dubai Tram
What’s On reviews the Dubai Tram on its first day. Find out everything you need to know about riding the Dubai Tram, including how to buy a ticket.
Dubai Tram rolled into action today without a hint of the fanfare that had greeted the start of the Dubai Metro more than five years ago.
Despite a stunning fireworks display at every station yesterday evening, there were very few people making use of the new transport system when it rolled out from 6.30am.
Team What’s On were on board (you can read our first thoughts below) with just a handful of others as the first of the trams moved from Al Sufouh Road, through Knowledge Village and Media City, before bearing left to take in Dubai Marina and, latterly, Jumeirah Beach Residence.
The first three hours of service were almost problem free, though one of the trams was forced into an early termination at Palm Jumeirah following a 10-15 minutes wait at the previous stop due to ‘technical problems’. Gaps between arrivals wasn’t as uniform as authorities might have hoped, though by 9am a smoother service was in operation.
Early projections suggested the tram would carry about 27,000 riders per day, rising to 66,000 across the same period by 2020. However, the first morning suggested residents’ trust will need be earned if that target is to be hit.
Despite an announcement suggesting wifi would be made available throughout the network, there was no sign of signal early on.
The launch of the tram coincided with the start of a new fare scheme on the Metro, seeing prices hiked by up to 66 per cent, depending on the zones and class. Special rates, though, will be given for students and elderly people.
“To maintain the transport sustainability and to build world-class transport infrastructure thus ensuring the provision of world-class standards in the city, fares are revised accordingly,” the RTA said.
SO, WHAT DID WE THINK OF THE DUBAI TRAM
The What’s On team jumped on board the first tram this morning to give it a whirl, and it was largely a trouble-free experience.
We made our way into the Palm Jumeirah station and purchased tickets quickly. The touch-free system is simple and a standard single day pass costs Dhs6. Once you’ve collected your ticket you need swipe it on a different machine for it to be activated – a step that’s easy to miss.
Stations are well stocked with information, though considerably less so with ticket machines – just two. At every turn, passengers are directed and warned as to the direction from which the trams are coming.
BUT DON’T FORGET TO ‘TOUCH IN’….
The trams themselves are clean and comfortable. They are, in simple terms, a scaled down version of Dubai Metro. Separated into three sections (eight soft, leather gold seats, two carriages of standard and one for women and children only), the tram glides through new Dubai at a decent speed and the automated speaker system lets you know which stop is next. Drivers can also address the public.
The route is mapped on an electronic board above the doors and windows, while clear signage tells of fines for eating or drinking (Dhs100) and smoking.
There were a few teething problems at certain stops though – the door didn’t open at the start, there was a sudden halt at another stop causing a teeny domino effect of stumbling passengers, and there was a technical glitch at Marina Towers where we remained stationary for several minutes.
Other than that, it was smooth sailing and we flew over the bridges of Dubai Marina, passing the stationary traffic, which, during our morning on the tram, was perfectly well behaved, on either side. Thumbs up from us.