Dubai's trams to hit the tracks
The $800m project is set to begin operation in November
Dubai residents will soon get their first glimpse of the emirate’s new trams, with testing to begin today (Sunday).
The first zone of the $800m project – with stations between Al Sufouh and Knowledge Village – is nearly completed and will undergo testing for several weeks, although passengers will not be onboard.
The second stage of testing will be in zone two, between the Palm Jumeirah and Marina Towers, and is scheduled to begin on April 16.
Testing in zone three - connecting Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Beach Residence - is due to begin on June 14.
Learner drivers also are being taught how to navigate roads around the tram system and the different road signs needed for those areas.
The Roads and Transport Authority said driving schools had added the new road signs to their teaching, while an education program for existing drivers would begin later in the year.
The network, which will link the Jumeirah Lakes Towers and Dubai Marina metro stations, is due to open to the public in November and is being promoted as an environmentally friendly transport option that will connect thousands of residents that presently do not have access to public transport near their homes.
Eleven of the 14 air-conditioned trams already have been delivered by their French manufacturer and are expected to carry about 27,000 passengers a day when the network becomes operational.
Capacity is expected to reach 66,000 people a day, on 25 trams, by 2020.
British company Serco, which already runs the Dubai Metro, has signed a five-year, $28.5m deal to operate the tram system.