Comparative Report on Dubai Metro Vs Bangkok Metro System

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Table of Contents
1. Design 5
1.1. Structure 5
2. Cost of both metro systems 6
3. Generation of Revenue 7
4. Capacity of both metro systems 8
5. Effectiveness of the systems 9
6. Problems faced by them 9
7. Steps to enhance the system 10
8. Conclusion 11
9. References 12

The development of the Metro system in Dubai and BTS system in Bangkok has played a significant role in encouraging the development of metro systems across the globe. There are many differences in these two systems. These differences are considered on the basis of their structure, cost incurred, generation of revenues and the effectiveness of the systems are developed.
The capacity of both the systems has also been identified along with the problems faced by them. After evaluating the above elements and analyzing their impact, steps have been developed to enhance the systems and increase their share in the transport sector of these countries, respectively.

List of Figures
Figure 1: Structure of Dubai’s Metro line 4
Figure 2: Structure of Bangkok’s BTS system 5
Figure 3: Ridership Capacity of the Dubai’s Metro 7

Dubai Metro is completely automatic and it is driven without any driver. It is operated by the Serco Company under the supervision and bond of “Dubai roads and Transport Authority”. It has two operational lines which are currently running and they are, Red Line and Green Line. It has the world’s longest completely automatic metro rail network of around 75 kilometres. These two lines have about 47 stations in their network and this consists of 9 underground stations. It was started on 9th September 2009. The stations of the Dubai metro system are divided into 5 designs namely, type 1, type 2, type 3, U and UT. Out of these, the first three designs includes elevated stations and the other two designs refer to stations which are underground. The structure of the Dubai’s Metro line consisting of Red lines and Green lines is shown in the figure below:
Figure 1: Structure of Dubai’s Metro line

Bangkok Metro system is known as “Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS)”. It is develop at an elevation. It is operated by the “Bangkok Mass Transit System Public Company Limited (BTSC)”. It consists of two lines which are, “The Sukhumvit Line” and “The Silom Line”. The total length of these two lines is about 36.5 kilometres and it consists of 34 stations within their routes. It was started on 5th December 1999. The stations of the BTS are developed on the basis of three elevated design levels, where all of them are constructed for each and every station. (TRAINWEB.ORG, 2002)
The structure of the Bangkok’s BTS system consisting of the two lines of “The Sukhumvit Line” and “The Silom Line” is shown in the figure below:
Figure 2: Structure of Bangkok’s BTS system

Cost of both metro systems
The cost of constructing the Dubai metro was proposed to be around AED 15.5 billion/US$4.2 billion. However, it turned out to be around AED 28 billion/US$7.8 billion due to the incorporation of many changes in its design and infrastructure. The ticket prices in the Dubai Metro has been classified into 3 tiers or zones, which are namely Tier 1, tier 2, Tier 3 respectively. The location of the destination of the passengers is considered as the basis in this kind of Tier system for ticketing.
The cost of constructing the first phase of Bangkok’s BTS system was estimated round $1,800m. However, there are no details of construction of other phases of the BTS system. The ticketing system is based on the availability of special cards for aged people, students, regular passengers and this card are called “The Magnetic fare cards”. It was followed by the development of a new value card for ticketing in BTS system, in 2012. It is known as “The Rabbit Card”. It is based on a system where the payment is deducted from the cards electronically (RAILWAY TECHNOLOGY, 2015).
Generation of Revenue
Dubai metro project was projected to generate a revenue of about AED 18 billion/ US$4.9 billion in the coming 10 years, after its full functioning in the two lines. The project would not be carried out with the motive of making profits as there would be subsidies of different investors in the generated revenue. The profit share of the company would be considerably low and hence, it would take a time period of about ten years to get high revenues from the system. They would be capable enough to generate revenues owing to the easy transport facilities and cost effectiveness provided by it. This would shift the regular bus passengers to save time through traveling in Dubai Metro system. People, who used to travel for long hours on their personal vehicles have also shifted to the metro and this has resulted in tremendous increase in the revenue of the metro system (Solt, 2010).
It was observed that BTS would be generating revenues of about 16% of the invested sum, which accounts for around $188 million, that is, $1.8 billion in the first year. This was estimated on the basis of the load on the road transportation systems like the buses, taxis and private vehicles. It was estimated that the usage of about 82% of the transportation, was through the above mentioned systems. It was forecasted in the beginning of the BTS, that it would take a considerable share from the above mentioned transportation systems. However, owing to the expensive fares of the BTS system as compared to the traditional bus system and availability of limited network in BTS, the number of passengers were low. This resulted in low revenue generation from the system (RAILWAY TECHNOLOGY, 2015).
Capacity of both metro systems
It was expected that the Dubai Metro would carry around 1.2 million people on a regular day, when all the lines would be in operating condition. This included carrying of about 27000 people every hour on each line leading to about 355 million passengers annually when the two lines would be functional. It was estimated to provide transportation to around 12% of all the transport facilities in Dubai. However, in the first year, when only one phase of the lines was completed, there were about 1,740,578 passengers and around 60,000 passengers per day. After the completion of the entire phase 1 and development of other stations, the flow of the passengers was raised to about 377,000 passengers per day, combined for both the lines. There are many plans and extensions developed to increase the capacity of Dubai’s Metro Project. There has been a tremendous increase in the number of passengers per day since 2010. The total monthly flow of passengers, that is, the ridership has been shown in the figure below:

Figure 3: Ridership Capacity of the Dubai’s Metro

(Solt, 2010)
In the beginning, the capacity of the BTS was estimated to carry around 200,000 passengers per day. Then, with the completion of other stages of the project including other stations and destinations, the number of passengers gradually increased. This increase in the number of passengers per day increased up to 650,000 passengers on a single regular day. Though, the initial fares were found to be very high by the passengers travelling by bus, they gradually, evaluated its effectiveness in saving time and energy (RAILWAY TECHNOLOGY, 2015).
Effectiveness of the systems
Dubai Metro system has been extremely effective in handling the fleet of the passengers which used to travel by buses, personal vehicles and taxis. Hence, they got a firm share in the transportation of the country as more and more number of people started using it. There has been an increment of more than 132% in the ridership in 2014 as compared to the initial ridership observed in 2009. This is due to the awareness among the people regarding the effective use of user friendly metro system (MYDUBAISTAY.COM, 2015)
The main success of the Bangkok’s BTS system is reduction of the load on other modes of transport like the bus, taxis and private vehicles. As mentioned in the earlier section, more than 82%of the passengers were dependent on these other modes of transport. The use of the BTS system reduced the traffic on roads, where in the initial conditions, the average speed on a busy road would be as low as only 10 km/hr. this problem was very well tackled by the BTS system. There was increasing awareness among the passengers to save their time, efforts and energy, as seen in the case of Dubai’s metro system (Fredrickson, 2013)..
Problems faced by them
One of the most significant problem witnessed in the use of Dubai Metro system is that it does not function on Friday morning. It is because of the assumptions of the “Roads and Transport Authority (RTA)” that very less number of people would be travelling on Friday morning, as it would be holiday for everyone. However, this is not the case actually. There are many passengers who work on Friday morning and they have to face serious consequences of this decision of keeping the Metro closed on Friday morning by the RTA. The use of taxis and buses would be very costly and this would lead to inconvenience among the people (Solt, 2010).
In Dubai’s Metro system, there is unavailability of the internet connection in the form of Wi-Fi which tends to be the need of the day. With the advancement in technology, the needs of the passengers are increasing. There is overcrowding on the red lines between Jebel Ali and Rashidiya during the peak hours.
The early fares of the BTS system were kept quite high and this made it unsuitable for the average person to travel in BTS as the prices were about three times of the bus fares. However, introduction of new lines in the network has led to decrease in the fares and this attracted the average person, too. However, there was a shortage of the number of stations on the network of BTS. Most of the stations were belonging to the center part of the city. Hence, the areas which were far from the center had to be travelled through bus or taxis after reaching any near central station in the BTS. Recently, in 2013, there was a major problem of shutdown of the signalling system in BTS. It was due to the failure in the transmission system which transmitted and received signals and this is a major drawback of the technology. The system being shut down during the peak hours is a matter of concern and big problem for the engineers of the BTS system (Fredrickson, 2013).
Steps to enhance the system
There are many steps which are to be taken to improve the reach and effectiveness of the Dubai Metro System. The introduction of the tier system in the collection of fares from the people on the basis of the distance of their destinations. They have developed an exclusive interior in the stations which is based on five themes and they are, heritage, earth, air, fire and water. These five themes symbolises the human values and also incorporates the natural values in the themes. There are special systems which are utilized to assist the visually impaired people throughout the stations. These systems make use of the “tactical guidance path” for the physically handicapped and disabled people. There is a special provision for the safety of the passengers with the installation of “Platform screen doors”, that would provide responsive flashlights to alert the passengers at all the stations.
This can be done through efficient advertising of products and services in the stations. In the BTS system too, the advertising and promotion of various National events and conferences can be carried out. The rates of the ticket are kept low so that all the people can afford it (Teptong, 2007). They have introduced rapid signalling system which would overcome the breakdown problems which existed in the previous years. They have also developed the interiors of the stations so as to make them more appealing on a global level. The increase in tourism of Bangkok has resulted in the increase in the number of passengers per month in Bangkok.
The steps regarding the safety of the transportation system has to be observed strictly in both the systems. The elements which can influence the breakdown of the system need to be identified. Effective solutions have to be developed to tackle these problems at the earliest. Ensuring a very efficient and safe signalling during the transmission of information through the Metro systems is necessary.

Fredrickson, T. (2013, december 24). BTS halts service, reopens. Retrieved from
MYDUBAISTAY.COM. (2015). METRO MAP. Retrieved from
RAILWAY TECHNOLOGY. (2015). Bangkok Skytrain Transit System, Thailand. Retrieved from
Solt, I. (2010, July 10). Dubai Metro ridership hits 23m passengers since Sept ’09: Al Tayer. Retrieved from
Teptong, N. (2007). A STUDY OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF BTS AND MRT TRANSIT ADVERTISING. Business English for International Communication .
TRAINWEB.ORG. (2002). Railway Technical Web Pages. Retrieved from


Posted on

March 10, 2018

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