A part of the grand Qatar Rail project has kicked off its initial operations of the Red Line South yesterday (May 8) and the ILQ team was one with the rest of the raving public to try riding the metro on its inauguration day!
Extending from Al Qassar in the north to Al Wakra in the south, the Red Line has five more set-to-open stations including Katara, Legtaifiya, Qatar University, Lusail, and the Hamad International Airport.
The launch, which was originally planned for 2020, comes almost one year ahead of schedule. It is an important stage for testing the Doha Metro system with passengers, providing an opportunity to evaluate and review the performance in preparation for the full operation of the network.
For those of you who haven't tried riding the state-of-the-art trains yet, compiled in this article are some of the commuters' many Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the newly-opened railway system that ranges from "How long does it take to reach Point A to Point B?" to "Is the railway disabled-friendly?"
Updated: December 22, 2019
CLICK HERE to see all the places you can go to using Doha Metro!
To travel on the metro, you will need to buy a travel card. There are three different types—Limited Use Travel Cards, Standard Travel Card, and Gold Travel Cards.
The most common out of the three is the Standard Travel Card (STC) which is a reusable plastic travel card that costs QR 10. This card must have travel credit added to it before you can use it to travel. This Travel Card does not permit travel in the Gold section of the Doha Metro trains.
A non-reusable, paper travel card that contains either a single journey or day pass, the cost of the Limited Use Travel Card (LUTC) depends on the type of product you are purchasing (a single journey or a day pass) and the class of travel you want to travel in (Standard or Gold Club).
Lastly, the Gold Travel Card (GTC) is a reusable plastic card that costs QR 100. This card permits travel in the Gold Club sections of the Doha Metro trains. This card must have travel credit added to it before you can use it to travel.
When in doubt about what to buy, feel free to approach any Doha Metro staff. They are more than willing to explain the fares and help you choose and buy the best option for your needs.
STCs and LUTCs can be purchased from self-service Travel Vending Machines (TVMs) which are available inside all Doha Metro stations. GTCs, on the other hand, can only be purchased from Gold Club information counters located inside metro stations.
STCs are also available in different stores across the country including Al Meera, Lulu, Carrefour, and Jumbo Electronic.
Note: There are pocket-sized metro guides and travel card sleeves available in every Gold Club information counter so make sure to grab one of each before you embark on your journey!
If you're an STC or GTC holder, you can do this (and a whole lot more!) by "topping up" at the nearest TVM. Located inside all Doha Metro stations, TVMs also allow passengers to check the remaining balance in their card using the same machine before or after every ride!
Note: Licensed retailers are not able to top up travel cards.
A travel card can be used again and again as it is valid for five years, so don't throw it away. A standard and gold club travel card can hold a maximum amount of travel credit.
Doha metro goers will enjoy a modern, low-cost transport system, making the Doha Metro accessible to all.
A single journey will cost QR 2 for STC holders (including Family Class), while a day pass (3 rides or more within the day) will cost QR 6. A single journey will cost QR 10 for GTC members, while a day pass will cost them QR 30.
Anyone aged 5 and above needs either one of the three travel cards to travel on the Doha Metro so meaning, adult and child fares are basically the same. Children aged 4 and below do not need a travel card and must be accompanied by a fare-paying adult. A child must be 9 years old or above to travel alone on the network. Younger kids should be accompanied by someone at least 16 years of age.
Msheireb, also called the "Interchange station" as all lines (Red, Green, and Gold) are meeting at this point, is the Doha Metro's central station. It is also the largest one.
As for the frequency of the trains, there will be a train every five minutes, and the travel time between stations varies depending on the distance. For more details, contact 105, Doha Metro's customer support or download Qatar Rail App.
In total, 110 trains—consisting of three cars, one of which will be for Gold and Family Class and two for Standard class—comprise the Doha Metro:
Gold has 16 seats, Family 26 seats, and 88 seats for Standard.
In line with its continuous efforts to provide a comprehensive travel experience, and in cooperation with the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Qatar Rail has made preparations to integrate Doha Metro with other modes of transport, including feeder buses services that will take passengers to and from stations.
Metrolink—a complimentary shuttle bus service to and from the metro stations and their surrounding areas—has been launched to support Doha Metro’s preview service.
Note: Buses run every 12 minutes except for Free Zone (20 minutes).
CLICK HERE to see all the available Metrolink routes and the last bus timings per route.
In addition, Karwa taxi service is providing fixed tariffs for Doha Metro passengers. Karwa taxi passengers travelling to and from any Metro station can book their taxi through the Karwa App using the promo code RAIL to avail flat QR 8 promotional fare for a journey within 3 kilometers
Other transportation solutions will be added, and reduced prices for metro passengers will be offered with other transport service providers, in the near future.
Each station contains a customer service center, Gold Club office, a police booth, separate male and female prayer areas, and restrooms that cater for people with disabilities. The stations also include monitors to display journey information and train services, as well as signage to guide the visitors. All stations are equipped with security cameras and a first aid room to preserve the security and safety of all passengers.
We've also received a scoop that food stalls and shopping kiosks are also set to open around the metro stations especially once the Red Line and the rest of the entire railway system are fully operational!
The stations, once 100% up and running, will be such a cool place to be that passengers will not only want to travel through it but also want to hang out there with friends and family.
You'll soon find numerous retail outlets within the stations, so allow time for a little shopping and refreshments!
Absolutely yes. There's a space for manual and electric wheelchairs on all trains and trams, along with dedicated seating areas and dedicated drop-off areas for customers with reduced mobility. They can even request for a station familiarisation tour from one of Doha Metro's staff.
Moreover, tactile paths are provided to assist with navigation for customers with visual impairments. Restrooms that cater for people with disabilities are also available throughout every station.
As part of Qatar Rail’s aim to reduce the public’s dependence on private cars, car parking areas in stations are limited. Drop off and pick up parking areas are provided in all stations, although there are some stations that have limited parking spaces such as Al Wakra and Qassar.
According to the metro's rulebook, no one's allowed to film or take photographs on the network for commercial gain without prior consent from Qatar Rail.
If you're filming with your camera phones, make sure to be respectful of others.
No. With the exception of guide dogs accompanying blind passengers and hearing dogs accompanying deaf passengers.
You may, at the network's discretion and at your risk, travel with luggage at no additional cost. Passengers are responsible for their luggage at all times and must ensure it does not cause any injury or inconvenience to other passengers or block emergency exits or walkways.
The Red Line will be fully functional by the end of the year while the grand opening of the entire network is by 2020, according to Chief of Service Delivery at Qatar Rail Eng. Abdulla Saif Al Sulaiti.
Update: December 22, 2019
Yes, there is! Using the Qatar Rail app, you can register, create an account, and link your travel cards altogether. Customers can also use the application’s journey planner to manage their trips and view the network map and current operational stations.
The trains are up and running daily from 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM on weekdays ONLY (Sunday to Thursday). The service will stop during weekends to progress the work required to open more stations and lines.
Note: The above timing is only for the soft opening phase. They will probably operate over the weekends too once the Red Line is fully open. We'll keep you updated on this news for sure!
UPDATE: Doha Metro Red Line and Gold Line's new timings are from 6 am to 11 pm Saturday to Thursday and from 02:00 pm- 11:00 pm on Fridays, with trains operating every 5 minutes.
UPDATE (Janurary 2020): Operating hours for Thursdays and Fridays are extended to 12 mn.
CLICK HERE to see the Doha Metro first and last train schedules!
Watch the ILQ team's first metro ride experience HERE!
To know more about Qatar Rail, check out its website and social media links below!
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