Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A scene from Blade Runner?

Nope, it's just Dubai. I took this picture from the front of a Red Line train as it departed Al Jafiliya Station on the afternoon of Thursday August 30th. That's the base of the Etisalat Tower to the left; the Dubai World Trade Centre is directly ahead and a portion of one of the Emirates Towers can be seen directly behind it. Directly to the left of the DTWC is the spire of the Burj Khalifa.
I was generally impressed with the Dubai Metro; it was easy to understand and use (we transportation planners call it "legibility"). For all the wondering about whether anybody would actually use it, the trains were rather packed whenever I rode it. However, the trains themselves operated at somewhat slower speeds than what I would normally expect from a fully-grade-separated metro. Also, the in-vehicle air conditioning system simply couldn't keep up with Dubai's summertime heat.

All in all, though, the Dubai Metro appears to have accomplished its intended goal: it's made getting around Dubai without a car easier and more convenient. 

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