*Ridership to and from HIA increased by nearly 90% over the last year and exceeded 1mn passengers
Public bus ridership in Qatar has risen by 40% between 2015 and 2018, the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) said Saturday.
This, the MoTC said, “is ascribed to significant enhancement works” carried out by the ministry to boost the performance efficiency of the public bus service and increase ridership, in co-ordination with Mowasalat (Karwa).
The enhancement works have taken the form of introducing bus routes to cover new destinations and improving and optimising existing ones. The MoTC has launched five new airport bus express services, linking Al Khor, The Pearl-Qatar, West Bay, Al Matar Al Qadeem and the industrial areas to Hamad International Airport.
“These enhancements have proven so popular that ridership to and from HIA has increased by nearly 90% over the last year and exceeded 1mn passengers, compared to 2017,” the MoTC said.
The MoTC has also developed and enhanced existing bus routes. This includes the buses covering the areas of the West Bay, The Pearl-Qatar and Lagoona Mall. Improvements have also included more frequent timetables, improvements to smartcard purchase and top-up options, and increased marketing and information about bus services, including the development and launch of the Karwa bus mobile application.
Additionally, a network of Doha Metro 'Metrolink' feeder bus routes has been established to support Metro operations.
Some 24 new routes have been introduced since April this year, transporting people to and from Red Line stations in the West Bay area to Al Wakrah.
Some 25 more routes will be launched when the other two Doha Metro lines enter service; 10 routes for the Green Line and 15 for the Gold Line.
The ‘Metroexpress’ service has been also launched for users in the West Bay area as part of efforts to providing integrated transport solutions.
Metroexpress is a free trial ride-sharing service, currently covering the West Bay QIC and DECC station areas.
Meanwhile, the infrastructure facilities that support public bus operations are being developed and improved in association with the bodies concerned. Development works include the establishment of four new locations for buses in Al Qassar, Al Wakrah, Lusail City and Education City, opening up five new bus stops in the Al Sudan area, Lusail City, Al Wakrah, the Industrial Area, Msheireb and Gharaffa and the establishment of four new bus depots that will have bus stops, bus care centers and housing and recreational facilities for the operating company’s staff.
Moreover, some 627 electric buses and their associated charging equipment will be imported and put into operation during 2020.
“By so doing, Qatar will become the first country in the region to have a full fleet of electric buses for public transit. The move to procure electric buses represents the MoTC’s strong commitment to sustainable and environment-friendly public transportation, aiming to make all public buses in Qatar electric by 2030,” the MoTC said.