One-day public transport in Dubai, a review

Recently, I had a chance to visit Dubai and use its iconic Metro system. The Dubai Metro is a rapid transit rail network with three operational lines, and it seems a few more lines are planned. In this review, I would like to summarise what I learnt from it.


It is driverless and stylish. It runs at a very high frequency and there is a train every few minutes. So I wasn’t surprised when I saw so many people are using it.


There wasn’t much street design around the stations. It was as if someone just left the stations beside the streets with no intentions to properly connect them to its surrounding street network. Moreover, there weren’t any feeder buses to connect stations to outer suburbs. This means the catchments are very limited to only a few hundred meters around the stations. 

Bottom line 

Dubai Metro looks like an expensive but very underutilised PT project. It is a good example to show interventions in a PT system has to be evaluated on a city-wide scale. Local projects need to integrate into a wider PT network in order to increase PT accessibility.

Lessons for Auckland

Auckland rail network may not be as fancy, but it integrates much better with the underlying street network and the other PT modes. Said that there is still a lot of room for improvements.