Sweating, but still excited, I reached the Burjuman metro station. At this point, I am desperate for some cool air. Nope. It is steaming hot in there. Took the escalator down, still hoping to get hit by the cool air we all love. It didn't hit me until I reached the last 3 steps of the escalator. The station looks nice. Proceeded to look for signs. Jebel Ali. Cool. Turned right and placed my card on the machine to open up the door. Nice.
A set of stairs awaited us, blocked by security as the train has yet to arrive. I'm not sure why that is necessary and/or if there is a better way than having people stranded on the stairs. As we went down, I tried to once again, follow the signs. Gold class. Cool, here we go. Train arrived, stepped inside and ah.. looks nice.
The Gold Class cabin is.. well, only one cabin. It also filled up very quickly. In fact, the majority of those in Gold class were not paying the gold class fare. They just walked up and took a seat. I don't know why the doors between cabins remain open or how they intend to police this. If I could pay the lowest rate and go sit up in Gold Class, what is there to stop me?
Novelty riders are usually equipped with cameras and smiles. Around here, we also have the loud and obnoxious types. The kind of behavior you would expect from teenagers, but acted out by full grown adults. I found that most annoying, but cannot blame it on the metro itself. These types of people will eventually go away. I don't think we will continue to have people speak loudly, run around the cabin holding on to your seat, rocking it, etc. It did, however, take away from the otherwise smooth ride.
We reached the Mall of the Emirates station. This is when the chaos ensued. As we stepped into the station, I can see a massive amount of people surrounding what looked like an Information desk. I looked for signs. Exit. Cool, I walked up to it. There stood a guy who barked at us, "You can't just walk up here! Go over there!" The workers are obviously frustrated. We are following signs. It says exit everywhere! Exit to WHAT? Where he stood, it had an exit sign above him. He pointed to where the crowds were.
Apparently, exiting was a major bottleneck. I think one of the machines broke, adding to that, people are still trying to figure out how to take a magnetic card and make it touch a pad. It's a learning curve, but it took me 8 minutes to get out of there.
By this time, I was frustrated. After I was done with the shopping, I realized something very important. There is noway in hell I'm going to walk 2kms carrying this. Good thing I had a car parked in my office at DMC. I decided to ditch the metro, took a cab to my office's parking lot and drove back home.
I am not trying to take away from Dubai's achievement. Having a mass transit system is not something to take lightly. This is a huge deal. I was sincerely hoping to get rid of my car and take up public transportation. I genuinely wanted to. It just isn't practical enough for me. Bus stations aren't enough and the weather doesn't help.
As it turns out, I won't be ditching my car any time soon. This worries me, because, if people like me, who really want to use public transportation are not going to get onboard.. how is the RTA planning on getting people off their cars and into the metro?