An official statement from Karwa noted that the team of around 18,000 employees from 90 different nationalities has joined to welcome millions of guests for the biggest sporting event in the world.
Mowasalat CEO Fahad al-Qahtani urged fans to avail of Qatar’s highly developed and modern public transport system and make it “your preferred mode of travel”.
“We started preparing for Qatar 2022 years ago, in line with the vision of the Ministry of Transport, to offer our customers a technologically advanced and emission-neutral public transport network. Qatar is the first host nation to connect the entire country and all the stadiums with one of the largest road transport networks – a first in the tournament’s history.
“Qatar 2022 fans will experience a seamless and efficient road transport service. By implementing technical innovation at every stage, we are ensuring that we adapt to the fast-evolving global transportation sector while offering fans and visitors to Qatar safe and sustainable transportation options,” al-Qahtani said.
Qatar’s comprehensive road transport service provider is all geared up to serve football lovers with 4,000 buses and a lifting capacity of more than 700 passengers per day, providing scheduled daily public and tournament services for stadiums, fan zones, metro stations, airports and other major sites.
Over three months, the readiness of the entire road transport network for the 3,000 tournament buses was repeatedly tested on the ground by mirroring the highest ridership days during Qatar 2022. This entire operation, thus, constituted a mammoth and intricate operational integration of over 12,000 bus deployments, and involved 16,000 individual driver duties and 22,000 passengers.
The objective of these test drives was to stress test the road network with a bus volume comparable to the one anticipated during the World Cup.
The exercise also tested the connections with the major depots and operation hubs for Qatar 2022, the efficacy of the last-mile support network, as well as the management of the pedestrian zones.
With the deployment of such a massive workforce, and given the complexity of the entire operation, this was a first-of-its-kind exercise in the country.
In order to ensure maximum safety for passengers and drivers, Mowasalat (Karwa) organised the first-ever firefighting training exercises in Qatar for electric vehicles with lithium-ion batteries. The firefighting training exercises significantly enhanced internal capacity of the team to master the latest disaster management techniques, specifically relating to possible adversities associated with electric vehicles.
In addition to several features to enhance safety and optimise operation process, a Bus Operation Center to monitor the routes, and a vehicle health tracker to ensure the buses are in good condition at all times have been deployed.
The company has also inducted a fleet of 900 electric buses in line with its vision of implementing a carbon-minimum transport network. A lot of the electric buses are maintained and charged at the Lusail depot, the world’s largest electric bus charging station, and a Guinness Record holder, with 478 electric charging points.
In collaboration with Qatar Tourism (QT), Mowasalat (Karwa) trained the Karwa Taxi drivers and Doha Limousine chauffeurs, in over 30 training workshops, in global best transportation practices and familiarised them with important national landmarks and places of tourist interest to provide a world-class public transport experience.
In order to address customer queries and provide regular updates, the Mowasalat (Karwa) call centre will be operational round-the-clock and provide quick assistance to tourists and fans. For smooth operations, the call centre workforce has been increased to avoid any lapse in customer service.
Making commuting easier, each Karwa bus stop is equipped with digital route maps, which can be easily downloaded by scanning the QR code.
Visiting fans can get acquainted with the routes and destinations by simply downloading the Karwa bus application to use the journey planner.
Mowasalat (Karwa), keeping in line with its commitment to social sustainability and the community, has special accessible vehicles for the differently-abled. The fans can easily book accessible vehicles through the Karwa Taxi application.
For the benefit of the local and visiting fans, all the buses and taxis are equipped with high-speed Wi-Fi so that fans can stay connected to the world. A number of the tournament buses are equipped with ramps and specially equipped areas to facilitate wheelchairs.
Both local and international fans will enjoy easy payment options on all taxis and limousines with Visa and Mastercard, and with local and international wallets such as Google and Apple Pay.