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Posted On: 28 May 2015 10:40 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 01:53 pm

Number of buses set to double by year-end

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The number of public transport buses on Qatar’s roads will be more than double by December than it was at the beginning of the year, Mowasalat CEO Khalid Nasser al-Hail told Gulf Times yesterday.
“Our hope is that towards the end of the year, there would be at least 250 buses operating on the roads,” he said.
The number of buses has already reached 165 compared to 122 at the beginning of this year.
“After a lean patch for a while, there is a rise in demand for public transport service on many routes and hence more buses are added to the network,” al-Hail said.
Mowasalat Support Services director Nasser al-Khanji said there was a fall in demand for buses sometime ago as several roads were under reconstruction and there was traffic congestion across Doha.
“However, with the full-fledged reopening of some of the important roads after reconstruction, bus services are showing signs of improvement with each passing day,” he said.
There is also some improvement in the patronage of West Bay circular buses, the official revealed, while recalling that when the service was introduced in January last year, there were hardly 100 users for the services between 6am and midnight.
“However, there has been a six-fold increase in the number of passengers availing of the West Bay circular services these days as there is better awareness about the buses among people visiting the area,” said al-Khanji.
The circular services were introduced as a joint initiative of the Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Municipalities and Urban Planning.
He said that bus services were also operating to and from West Bay to the country’s tourist destinations such as Souq Waqif and Museum of Islamic Art.
Asked if the absence of adequate number of bus shelters for passengers had affected the public patronage of the bus service across the country, al-Khanji said it might be a factor, especially in the summer months.
Owing to the scorching heat, not many people who would have otherwise opted for bus services for their travels are not using them as it is extremely difficult to wait in the open, he observed.
“Considering the importance of the issue, the company is coming out shortly with an alternative and appealing plan to build more bus shelters,” he announced.
Under the proposed plan, there would be some air-conditioned bus shelters as well, he said while adding that it would attract more companies to build such waiting facilities for bus passengers.
“Even if there is no private participation, Mowasalat would execute the plan, taking into account the company’s commitment to commuters,” al-Khanji added.