Thanks to the Qatar National Vision 2030 and the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2022, the public transportation system is improving day by day and there are now more options to choose from to get around Doha and Qatar. This makes it easier for residents and visitors to explore more of the capital and the rest of the country. Check out the guide below!
Karwa Bus, the public air-conditioned bus, connects Doha and major communities around Qatar. The buses are operated by the government-owned Mowasalat, the major transport services provider in Qatar.
Currently, there are more than 50 routes available, with the buses operating from 4 am and the last buses timed to depart around 11 pm. Most of the routes operate from Doha Bus Station near the gold souq, as per Mowasalat.
Space for wheelchairs is available on most types of buses.
How much is the bus fare? Fares can go from as little as QR 2.50 (short trips) to QR 9 (to Al Shamal and Abu Samra) per single ride.
What you need to know before riding the Karwa Bus: You need to purchase the Karwa Smartcard because this is what you'll be using to pay for your bus fare. The Karwa Smartcard has to be tapped during onboarding and alighting the bus.
To check the bus routes and timings, it's best that you download the Karwa Bus app.
Three types of Karwa Smartcard:
According to Mowasalat, you can choose from the Classic Card, Limited Card, or Unlimited Card.
Where to buy and top-up Karwa Smartcard?
Karwa Smartcard can be purchased and recharged at Doha Bus Station, Karwa Bus Stations, through Ticket Vending Machines, select merchants, and Ooredoo Self Serving machines with the Karwa Smartcard logo. Click here to see the full list.
Ticket Vending Machines (TVM) is available at Hamad International Airport, Doha Bus Station, Karwa Bus Station, and The Pearl Qatar.
You can also recharge your Karwa Smartcard via OoredooMoney. According to Ooredoo, you can use OoredooApp or the USSD menu (*140#) to add QR 5-QR 500 to your Karwa SmartCard. You’ll simply need to enter the first 10 digits of your card number to recharge.
Doha Metro, which started its Phase 1 operation in 2019, currently has three lines operational - Red, Green, and Gold. An integral part of the Qatar Rail network, Doha Metro connects different suburbs of the capital and the nearby municipalities. It has both underground and elevated (above-ground) stations, with Msheireb station connecting all three lines.
Legtaifiya Station was the last one to open this 2020, completing the 37 stations of the Doha Metro Phase 1. This station is one of the interchange stations with Lusail Tram.
Did you know that you can easily access Hamad International Airport, Katara Cultural Village, Qatar National Library, National Museum of Qatar, Souq Waqif, and more by taking the Doha Metro?
Find out the places you can go to using the Doha Metro here: https://www.iloveqatar.net/guide/transportation/places-to-visit-near-doha-metro-stations
Yes! Doha Metro users can avail of the complimentary internet for 30 minutes per day inside stations and trains.
Check out the first and last train timings here!
Here are the costs for the reusable Standard Travel Card and Goldclub Travel Card.
|Single Journey||QR 2||QR 10|
|Day Pass||QR 6||QR 30|
|Travel Card Cost||QR 10||QR 100|
You can purchase Standard Travel Cards from any of the following retailers: Al Meera, Lulu, Carrefour, Family Food Centre, or Jumbo Electronics. Goldclub travel cards are available from dedicated gold club offices at all Metro stations.
Due to COVID-19, paper tickets are not available.
You can easily top-up Travel Cards at the machines at any of the stations, through the website or you can also top up through the Qatar Rail app using your credit/debit card.
Find out the Do's and Dont's of riding the Doha Metro here: https://www.iloveqatar.net/guide/transportation/the-dos-and-donts-of-riding-the-doha-metro
According to Qatar Rail, Metrolink is a feeder bus network providing first and last-mile connectivity to Qatar Rail customers within a 2 to 5-kilometer radius of the Doha Metro stations while Metroexpress is a free trial ride-sharing service that can be booked through its designated app. Metroexpress services Al Qassar, Katara, Legtaifiya, Qatar University, DECC, and West Bay areas.
You can track the Metrolink buses and routes through the Karwa Bus app. Check the Metrolink routes here: https://www.qr.com.qa/metrolink
To get around Msheireb Downtown Doha (MDD), you can take the free Msheireb Tram. The electric-powered tram cars are air-conditioned and have special light-filtering glass panels. You can hop-on and hop-off at any of its 9 stations:
Msheireb Downtown Doha is walking-distance from Msheireb Metro Station.
Want to know more? Check out our guide to Msheireb Tram and Msheireb Downtown Doha!
Qatar Foundation launched its own electrically-powered tram system last 2019 that goes around QF's 'Academic Loop'. "With a total of 24 stations, it enables car-less, park-and-ride connections between QF’s schools, universities, centers, and facilities," according to QF.
Currently under development is the Lusail Tram network that will serve destinations within Lusail and will be connected to the Doha Metro. It will have four lines and 25 stations once completed.
Easily noticeable because of their turquoise green color with the Karwa logo, their only difference with each other is the color of their roof. All Karwa taxis are also fitted with automatic tamper-proof meters. Did you know that they have five colors?
Read about the different colors of Karwa taxis here: https://www.iloveqatar.net/guide/transportation/your-all-in-one-guide-to-the-different-colors-of-the-karwa-taxis
How can I book a Karwa taxi? You can easily hail one from the street, by booking through 800-TAXI (8294), or you can book directly through the Karwa Taxi app. Download here: Google Play (Android) or Apple Store (iOS).
For Karwa Taxi with special-needs accessibility, call the toll free number 800-TAXI (8294).
How much is the taxi fare? The flag fall rate for Karwa taxi within Doha starts at QR 4 and QR 1.6 per km while outside Doha is QR 1.90 per km (also applicable to night time fare). The minimum taxi fare trip starts at QR 10 (including the first 5km). Minimum flag fare from the airport starts at QR 25.
Uber and Careem are the main players in Qatar when it comes to ride-hailing services.
With Uber, you can book the following rides: UberX, Comfort, and UberXL while Careem has CareemGO, Comfort, Max, and Cruiser.
How to book Uber or Careem? You can easily book through the respective apps which you can download here:
How much is the fare? The minimum ride fare for UberX and CareemGO is at QR 8. The final fare will vary depending on the distance, peak hour, and traffic along the way.
You can pay for your Uber ride using your credit or debit card, PayPal, cash, or Uber Cash. Careem accepts cash, credit or debit card, and Careem Pay.
Find out which taxi suits you best: https://www.iloveqatar.net/guide/transportation/battle-of-the-taxis-qatar-edition
Mowasalat's luxury fleet of limousines includes Impala, Passat, Audi, and Mercedes Vitto. You can book by calling 800-LIMO (5466) or 800-TAXI (8294) or through the Karwa Taxi app. You can also hire/rent a limousine through the Mowasalat website.
References: Mowasalat; Qatar Rail; Msheireb Properties
What can you say about public transportation in Qatar? Which is your favorite mode of transportation? Let us know in the comments! If you found this post useful, don't forget to hit like and share - it keeps us going!
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