Fighting coronavirus: Commuters relieved as Dubai Metro reopens

The first day of Metro reopening saw commuters adhering to safety guidelines to combat the spread of the virus. 

  
Passengers wait for metro ride on Gulf Emirate's first metro network in Dubai.

Passengers wait for metro ride on Gulf Emirate's first metro network in Dubai.

REUTERS/Mosab Omar

The first day of Metro reopening saw commuters adhering to safety guidelines to combat the spread of the virus. 

Dubai Metro riders are relieved to see the trains back on track as the city's major public transport service resumed operations today.

This comes after the partial lifting of movement restrictions, which were put in place to help curb the spread of Covid-19. Metro services had been suspended after April 4.

The first day of Metro reopening saw commuters adhering to safety guidelines to combat the spread of the virus, following signs posted all around.

Mohammad Saad - who boarded the train from Abu Baker Al Siddique Metro Station to go to his office in Burjuman - said social distancing norms were being strictly implemented at all entry points of the stations.

He said "contactless temperature sensors were used to check our body temperature as we entered the stations".

"People maintained proper physical distance in the queues. I didn't see too many people in my cabin. But I observed that many people were reluctant to sit maybe because of coronavirus fears," Saad said.

He added: "I left home a little earlier than usual as per the advisory of the Dubai Metro authorities and I would suggest the same for others as well, although, day one was smooth due to lower number of commuters."

Social distancing followed

V. Bharati Vijaykumar, who travelled at around 11am from Abu Hail to Union and then changed the train to go to Sharaf DG Metro station, shared that during her trip, there were "quite a number of passengers".

"I saw a number of women in the ladies cabin at Abu Hail. Every other seat had a poster which prohibited people from sitting on such seats," Vijaykumar said.

She added that "even for buying tickets, people were expected to help themselves at the self-service kiosks where again everyone was maintaining physical distancing norms".

"There was a lady for assistance, helping people who couldn't buy tickets themselves. She was giving them instructions from a certain distance. Many other people had their RTA cards. But the physical ticket counter was closed at Abu Hail, at least."  

Madhu Rathod, who travelled to Business Bay for work this morning, said: "I saw so many volunteers reminding people to maintain proper distance in queues. Even Dubai Police officials were also manning commuters."

Everyone wearing masks

Vijay Kumar, who has been using the Metro for many years now, said he felt the difference as a commuter today.

"Everyone was wearing masks. There were lots of stickers on floors and seats, as well as at the entry and exit doors at the Metro stations. On one side, the travelator was closed to reduce passenger flow. Several messages sharing solidarity enhancement programmes for Dubai's health were visible all around," Kumar said.

Filipino expat James Salazar said he was glad the Metro is back.

"I was taking a taxi every day to reach my workplace. It was proving to be quite expensive. I am happy that the Metro is back. It helps commuters save money," Salazar said.

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