Commuters in Dubai could save ten minutes with four new express trains. ©AFP PHOTO/KARIM SAHIB

(Relaxnews) – In an attempt to attract a larger number of passengers, the transport authorities in Dubai have announced the introduction of four new express trains on the Red Line subway route in October.

The Dubai metro is the first urban train network constructed in the country and in the Arabian Peninsula, opening in 2009 with the aim of changing Dubai’s car culture and easing traffic congestion. Since its opening, the number of passengers using the public transport system has increased considerably, notably during the first six months of 2012, when passenger numbers reached 53 million, almost 50 percent more than the same period in 2011.

Starting in October, journey times between Rashidiya and Jebel Ali will be reduced by ten minutes by removing a number of stops from the route. Two express trains will leave Rashidiya at 5:30am and 5:40am and two will depart at the same times from Jebel Ali. By removing some stops from the journey, the average speed of 45 km/h will be increased.

The express service will bypass 14 stations on the Red Line, stopping at Emirates, Al Rigga, Union, Khalid bin Al Waleed, Karama, Al Jafiliya, Emirates Towers, Noor Islamic Bank, First Gulf Bank, Dubai Internet City and Ibn Battuta. The stops were chosen based on the number of passengers using them — some stations are used by up to 9,000 passengers per day in the morning rush hour periods. The new system will be on trial for a period of five months.

The move comes as part of a strategy to improve public transport in the city and reduce the number of vehicle users. In 2009 mass transport usage accounted for 6 percent of commuters, the goal is to reach 30 percent of usage by 2030.