(Taken in June 2009, as viewed from Atlantis; Grannies holding hands while walking)
I’m not sure if the sheiks believe in numerology or maybe it was purely coincidental, but Dubai Metro train was formally opened to public on September 9, 2009. The first ever trip even boarded at 9:09:09 A.M., with Sheik Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum as one of the first passengers.
When we were visiting Atlantis last June, we saw the dry-run being done for the launch of the Dubai Metro. Personally, I was hesitant at the thought of being among its first passengers. Unless I want to be part of history… being one of the first 100 passengers is good to imagine, you know what I mean. 😉
Though I’ve been in the MRT of the Philippines not more than 10 times before coming here, I still miss the sight (and noise) of it. During one of my last rides, we even had a photo in Ayala Station.
I think my hesitation to ride the Manila trains emanated from my first try when I was a freshman in college. It was not yet gender coded that time and I had to travel with a classmate going south. We took the train to save time and as we got off, I was already physically out but my bag was still in. So much ala-sardines style.
But aside from that kind of train showcased in Before Sunrise, I enjoyed each ride in Hong Kong’s MTR.
I find their railway system so efficient and tourist friendly. The octopus card is very helpful, as you can use it, too, to ride the buses. The same ticketing is adopted by Dubai Metro.
I’ve been reading related news to Dubai Metro’s launch and nothing much have changed as to passengers’ take. Most of them tried it to see a view of Dubai from the train and for fun (i.e., to take videos and photos although prohibited, nothing can stop the excited people). I even heard a Filipino taking pride in being one of the first passengers. Also, he rode just to test the waters. In fact, in the recent survey, majority of the people are not (yet) that willing to embrace the system as a transportation staple.
The hesitation and the glitches, are of course, normal. It must be the same situation when any other country was launching its first ever airplane. It’s like seeing a newborn baby taking his first few steps – very careful but vulnerable. But once it becomes a picture of reliability, things would normalize. Right now, the nicest after effect of the launch is that strangers-passengers started to talk to each other. As you probably know, that’s remote in this part of the world.
And guess who’s one of the train officers?
Hence, passengers are in good hands. 😉
Note: Photos without watermark are sourced from The National.