Rail News

one year ago

Would you like a metro service for Sharjah?

Khaleej Times 
27 December 2022 (UAE)

Dubai - Stuck in Sharjah traffic and dreaming of a metro service for the emirate? Here is a futuristic view of a metro rail network for Sharjah created by an Emirati student who wishes to submit the plan to His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.

A rail network running up to 108 kilometres with four lines, five interchanges and 37 stations forms the project of Ahmad Mohammed Jalil, a fourth year student of Geography and Urban Planning, in the UAE University in Al Ain. Jalil came up with the model map of a metro network for Sharjah as part of his research paper.

“My research topic is about using GIS (Geographic information System) for planning a metro in Sharjah City,” Jalil told Khaleej Times.

“I chose this topic because I live in Sharjah and I know how people struggle in the morning and rush hours because of traffic congestion,” he said.

During the research, Jalil and his teammate Nasir Al Hassan Ahmad distributed a survey to the residents of Sharjah about possible solutions to resolve the issue of traffic between Sharjah and Dubai. Tens of thousands of Sharjah residents commute daily to Dubai for work as they have chosen the former for residence largely due to higher rents and cost of living in Dubai.

“The survey showed that people demand the metro more than any other transport mode. The metro will also enhance the sustainability in the city by reducing environmental pollution through less consumption of fossil fuels and will increase mobility and accessibility,” said Jalil.

During the project to finalise a suitability model for the Sharjah metro network, Jalil contacted different authorities in Sharjah to gather authentic data about population, employment, land use and so on. He also made use of many open sources and free data that could help him accomplish the project.

“The project got assistance from many professionals from GIS industry, business, economy and engineering. I also relied on many previous academic works to come up with certain criteria…. (It) helped us to make a logical model that satisfied all the criteria and objectives to serve the city in an efficient way.”

At last, a suitability model that shows the best locations to establish stations and routes of the metro that will zip through the Sharjah City was developed.

Obviously, Jalil said, one of the objectives was to connect it with the Dubai Metro to streamline the transportation between the two cities. “The real purpose of the Sharjah metro can be met when it joins the already existing Dubai Metro and also goes till Ajman.”

In the final map that he has come up with, Jalil has given four lines (Red, Purple, Green and Blue) to the Sharjah metro unlike two in Dubai. In his design, the Red and Purple lines join the Green and Red lines in Dubai at Al Qiyadah and Al Rashidiya stations respectively, while the Blue line that covers most stations in the heart of the city runs till Ajman.

Jalil said he took care to ensure the rail network was aligned with the roads and ran on primary roads and highways. Places with high employment density, commercial areas and tourist and heritage spots have been covered under this rail network.

“The number of stations is high because after the study I realised there is a need to have stations close to populated areas and major landmark attractions. When you connect these locations, you will see more tourists and residents visiting these landmark areas.”

The project has also connected the University City to the network, thereby serving the student community, as well.

Jalil wishes to present the suitability study and metro map details to Shaikh Sultan. “I’m sure eventually Sharjah will come up with a metro. It is a must for the city. I’ll be more than happy if my suggestions will be accepted for the real Sharjah metro network,” he said, thanking all the people who were involved in his project, especially Dr. Khaula Al Kaabi, chair of Geography and Urban Planning Department at the university.


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