Ricardo has a long and established history of providing technical support during the development of an integrated transport network for Dubai and its surrounding region.
In 2006 we were appointed to be the Independent Safety Assessor for the construction of the city's new metro - the first urban rail transit system to ever be constructed on the Arabian Peninsula - starting with the Red Line before fulfilling the same role for the second route to enter into service, the Green Line.
A state-of-the-art driverless metro system for Dubai
As the Independent Safety Assessor of both lines, our responsibility was to assure the safety of passengers, staff and the public through safety audits of:
- Design, manufacture, installation, testing and safety documentation for the engineering systems.
- The safety procedures and preparations of the operator once services had commenced.
To meet these wide-ranging objectives, our assessors were given full access to all aspects of the project’s construction , with the freedom to perform independent risk-based assessments through mix of site inspections, documentation reviews and stakeholder review forums.
With ambient temperatures ranging from +1°C to +52°C, winds of sand and dust that can reach speeds of 160km/h and a corrosive atmosphere containing high levels of salt, the city and its surrounding environs presented one of the most hostile environments in which such systems have been built, meaning a greater emphasis than ever was placed on ensuring the highest standards of safety throughout the construction and operating plans.
The first section of the Red Line opened to passenger service in September 2009 with the full 29 station route completed in 2010. The first 18 stations of the Green Line opened in 2011, with an additional two stations following three years later.
Combined, the two lines extend for 75km across a mix of underground and elevated sections with both routes operating as fully automated driverless systems (GoA4) with air conditioned cars and platform screen doors at every station.
By 2019, after a decade in operation, the lines were carrying more than 200m passenger journeys a year with a punctuality rate of 99.69%, believed to be the highest rate of any driverless metro in the world.