A number of bus users in Qatar have sought the rescheduling and diversion of many public transport services to areas where there is more demand. These buses are seen running empty most of the time, it is learnt.
Almost all buses of the West Bay circular public transport services, started with a lot of fanfare more than three years ago, are seen operating most of the time without any passenger.
These buses run in the West Bay area between 6am and 9pm daily, starting from near Qatar Sports Club and returning to the area as Blue Line and Red Line services.
Similarly, buses which are operated at 20-minute frequency to Hamad International Airport (HIA) from near City Center Doha (CCD) are also seen without any passenger in both directions. They run a total of 56 trips between 4.30am and 11.30pm.
Some of the circular services like 301, 302, 303 and 304 too are also seen on the roads without passengers, it is learnt.
While buses provide a cheaper travelling option, it is doubtful whether passengers would travel to City Center first for their onward journey to HIA in both directions.
Expatriate passengers are demanding services from dedicated places in different areas of the city to HIA at least every hour. They suggest that buses can be operated from areas such as Labour City in Abu Hamour, Najma, Doha Jadeed, Umm Ghuwalina, Mathar Qadheem, Wakra Town, Wukair, Umm Slal Ali, Al Khor, Ruwais and Industrial Area.
Even if passengers to the airport do not use the services, they would help people travelling to areas that fall on the route, it is believed.