By Ayman Adly /Staff Reporter
The introduction of modern modes of public transport such as the Doha Metro and Metrolink feeder bus service has contributed to reducing traffic congestion by 20% to 25%, especially during the rush hour, HE the Minister of Transport and Communications Jassim Seif Ahmed al-Sulaiti has said.
He made the observation while speaking on the sidelines of the first workshop on traffic congestion management, held in Doha yesterday under the patronage of HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior and National Traffic Safety Committee (NTSC) chairman, Sheikh Abullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani.
The workshop was organised by the NTSC in co-operation with the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) with the participation of organisations and experts involved in the field.
It sought to look into the current and potential traffic situation in the country by taking into consideration the anticipated turnout of a large number of people during major events such as the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
HE al-Sulaiti said the public transport plan included launching more modern transportation methods that would help further reduce traffic congestion in the future.
For instance, he said the coming days will see the opening of parking lots near Metro stations where commuters can park their vehicles and use the rail service.
Also, modern transportation solutions will be introduced on highways that are not linked by the Metro network, he added.
He noted that the economic cost of implementing such sophisticated transportation projects will be less than the quantum of potential losses that may incur due to traffic congestion and delays.
The minister stressed that the Ministry of Transport and Communications is working to spread the culture of using collective public transport, especially among the new generation.
Some of this already features in the education curriculum, thanks to co-operation with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.
Yousef al-Emadi, director of Projects Affairs at Ashghal, spoke about the various projects of the authority in the area and how these have helped improve traffic circulation in the country with a sophisticated road network and advanced infrastructure.
He said among the strategic projects undertaken by the authority is the Sharq Crossing, which is currently in the design phase and has two implementation stages: the first one is set to start by the end of April while the second, which involves complementary works, is likely to start in August.
The Sharq Crossing is one of the most strategic projects for reducing traffic and it will link the country’s main roads. The project consists of a series of bridges and a 12km bridge above water connecting Ras Abu Aboud and West Bay.
He explained that the Sharq Crossing has three related projects. These are a project to develop the Ras Abu Aboud Intersection, which is the starting point of the crossing, the first exit point of the crossing in the Sheraton Doha area, and the final point at Katara — the Cultural Village. All these will be developed and expanded to provide better roads solutions.
He said this vital project is expected to be accomplished in the third quarter of 2023 and will cost an estimated QR6-7bn.
Major General Mohamed Saad al-Kharji, director-general of Traffic and second deputy chairman of the NTSC, said the State has paid great attention to deal with traffic congestion through the launch of the National Traffic Safety Strategy 2013-2022 in addition to launching the second development plan, which aims to reduce traffic accidents and build a safe and secure transportation system.
He added that the General Directorate of Traffic has played an effective role in implementing the tasks assigned to it.
Improving the efficiency of investigation, the patrolling system and improving the flow of traffic, developing the use of technology and radars and providing the requirements of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar are among the key tasks.
Brigadier Mohamed al-Malki, general secretary of the NTSC, highlighted the importance of collaborative efforts by all the involved entities in resolving the issue of traffic congestion through innovative solutions.
Dr Ibrahim al-Nuaimi, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, member of the NTSC and head of the follow-up team for the implementation of the National Traffic Safety Strategy, spoke about the efforts of the ministry in raising awareness about the importance of using public transportation.
World Cup traffic plan
The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy presented a worksheet on the transportation sector’s plan for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, QNA reports.
It highlighted a number of systems that would be used to manage traffic during the event, the use of transportation means such as buses, 3,000 of which would be provided to transport the public from the housing sites to the eight stadiums where the matches are to be held.
There will also be co-ordination with other means of transport and use of the Doha Metro, which will cover 30% of the transportation needs, while buses will cover 40% and taxis cover 30%.
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