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The Department of Transport (DoT) unveiled updated plans for Abu Dhabi?s metro and light-rail transit (LRT) system which reduces the size and scope of the transport network.

The updated transport plans includes a metro, two light-rail tram lines and a bus rapid-transit loop.? It will be operational by 2018-20.

The original plans laid out in 2008 proposed a 130 km metro network, but the updated plans now only include 70km of metro line. Also, in the new plans the transport network no longer spreads south and east from Abu Dhabi Island.

The first phase of the project will see 18 km of the Metro lines running by 2020 and 40 km of the light-rail transit system up and running by 2018.

"A lot of changes have been made to our public transport plans," Khalid Hashim, the executive director of the land-transport sector at the Department of Transport (DoT) was reported by the press as saying at the sidelines of an event.

In its first phase, the metro will serve the main bus station Al Wahda, North Island (from Al Saada Street to the Corniche, including Reem, Lulu and Sowwah islands), Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and Zayed Sports City.

"Between stations the Metro can reach 80 to 100kph," said Hashim Al Hashimi, the director of public transport at the DoT.

Two 40km light-rail transit lines are expected to be operational by 2018. Each station is expected to handle 1,000 commuters

The first will be from Marina Mall, passing through Electra Street and Sowwah Island and out to Reem Island. The new trams will have an average speed of 20kph, including stoppage time.

By 2030, phase one of the DoT's public transport network is expected to serve 823,000 passengers a day, eliminate 400,000 daily road trips and remove 105,000 cars from North Island daily, a DoT study showed. It estimates the annual cost of time spent in congested traffic in the capital at US$680mn by 2015, which is expected to increase to US$1.6 billion by 2030.