Qatar Rail kicked off a preview service for the first part of the Doha Metro’s Red Line South on Wednesday – a milestone seen to boost the country’s infrastructure in the leadup to the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Passengers had the opportunity to visit 13 of the 18 stations from Al Qassar (North) to Al Wakra (South) between 8am and 11pm during the launch, which was originally planned for 2020 but comes nearly a year early.
The Line operates from Sunday to Thursday and takes a break during the weekends “to progress the work required to open more stations and lines.”
The Red Line’s 13 stations include Al Qassar, DECC, QIC West Bay, Corniche, Al Bidda, Msheireb, Al Doha Al Jadeda, Umm Ghuwailina, Al Matar Al Qadeem, Oqba Ibn Nafie, Economic Zone, Ras Bu Fontas, and Al Wakra. The stations to be opened soon are Lusail, Qatar University, Legtaifiya, and Katara.
“Today is my weekly off so I was ready to spend the whole day today to ride the trains. It’s nice, comfortable and very impressive,” Indian expatriate Premaj M K told Gulf Times on Wednesday after taking a ride from Al Wakra to Al Qassar.
He noted that the cost of the tickets was very affordable as others (like families) may opt for the gold pass, which gives passengers a more comfortable ride.
Premaj, who has been in Doha for 38 years, lauded what he described as “an excellent customer service” of metro station staff who were always ready to assist passengers.
There is a train every four to six minutes and it takes an average of one to two minutes to reach the next station.
In a press statement, Qatar Rail said the opening of the Red Line is an important stage for testing the efficiency of the Doha Metro system with passengers and review its performance.
Qatar Rail is trying to get feedback from passengers aimed at further improving the Metro’s service as it prepares for its full operation. It also aims to provide one-of-its-kind customer experience as it exerts efforts to meet the expectations of the public.
“The preview service, which is launched ahead of schedule, is a testament of the tremendous efforts carried out by Qatar Rail’s executive teams and board of directors, as well as the continuous support of HE the Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani,” said Abdulla Saif al-Sulaiti, chief of Service Delivery at Qatar Rail.
“Thanks to his continuous support and guidance, many achievements have been made ahead of schedule, and today we stand at a turning point as the project shifts from the development stage to the operational stage,” he said. “This preview service and its outputs are essential for us, and we will build on them as we prepare for the full opening of the network by 2020.”
About ticket pricing, Qatar Rail said it conducted comprehensive and integrated pricing studies, and introduced several categories to make tickets accessible and affordable to all and available via multiple sales channels.
Ticket holders will enjoy a modern and low-cost transport system, making Doha Metro accessible to all.
Three types of travel cards can be used to ride the Metro – Standard Travel, Goldclub and Limited Use. Passengers can buy the Standard Travel cards from vending machines at Metro stations and licensed retailers such as Jumbo Electronics, LuLu, Al Meera and Carrefour, Qatar Rail said on its website (https://www.qr.com.qa).
The company said that it will soon start selling travel cards in other licensed retailers. Goldclub cards will be available at Goldclub offices at the Metro stations, while Limited Use cards can be bought from vending machines and Goldclub offices at stations.
Rides cost QR2 for a single journey and QR6 for day pass (Standard) while those travelling the Goldclub class will be charged QR10 and QR30, respectively. Goldclub has larger and more comfortable seats.
The fee for acquiring a Standard Travel card is QR10 while the Goldclub card costs QR100 (valid for five years from the date of purchase); credits for travel have to be added on to these cards. Children aged below five travel for free.
The Limited Use cards can be used for a single journey or for day-long travel. It cannot be topped up with travel credits unlike the Standard and Goldclub cards. Besides Standard and Goldclub carriages, the trains also have a section for families.
Doha Metro has one of the fastest driverless trains in the world and will be the fastest in the region; able to reach 100km per hour.
In total, 110 trains – consisting of three cars, one of which will be for Gold and Family Class and two for Standard class – will be delivered to Doha Metro: Gold will have 16 seats, family 26 seats and standard 88 seats.
Doha Metro trains are designed and built to world-class standards of modernity and innovation. Their dynamic shape represents the perfect symbol of intelligence and speed.
The front end of the vehicle and its lines define a shape that is powerful yet elegant, while the windows are inspired by the slender eyes of local wildlife. The design is custom made for the Doha Metro project and the interior is inspired by the progressive architecture present in Doha skyline, once again combining traditional and modern elements.Courtesy:GulfTimes