Friday, May 16, 2008

Even Oil Countries are Trading in Oil for Mass Transit

The city of the Dubai in the The United Arab Emirates is ready to trade in their 5.3 million cars for a ride on the Dubai Metro. Dubai has more cars than New York City and London and they have the congestion to prove it. It has been reported that not having a Metro system is costing Dubai $1.25 billion a year in lost productivity. As the country steps out of the oil business and into a world trading economy, a subway system was a must.

The first two lines of the Dubai Metro will total 44 miles and cost an approximate $4.2 billion dollars to construct. A large number for such a city that isn't so densely populated (408 people p/km, the most sprawling US Cities of Houston and Phoenix are 3 times as dense). However, the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority calculates that 547,000 people will ride the Dubai Metro each day.

Officials hope to have 200 miles of subway built by the year 2020 which would make the system one of the largest in the world. City leaders say that the project will be open by 2009 and create hundreds if not thousands of jobs to the city. The Dubai Metro is the first system of its kind in the region and one of only few rail transport services in the Middle East region.

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