HE the Minister of Transport and Communications Jassim Saif Ahmed al-Sulaiti on Sunday conducted an inspection tour of the ongoing projects of the Public Bus Infrastructure Programme, carried out in collaboration with Public Works Authority (Ashghal).
The minister inspected work progress on the programme’s fifth package, during which bus depots are being established at Lusail, Al-Rayyan, Al-Wakra and New Industrial Area. The new depots will include a bus care centre and bus parking spaces fully-equipped with an infrastructure supportive of e-bus charging along with residential and recreational facilities and mosques.
The bus depot in Lusail will have parking canopies powered by highly-efficient solar panels making it the first bus depot in the region to rely on solar energy as a renewable source of clean energy. As many as 10,720 solar panel units will generate 4mw per day. They will also provide the necessary energy for operating electric charging devices.
The Lusail bus depot will have 217 units of 150kw dual bus charging devices, five 300kw fast bus electric charging devices, and 474 bus parking spaces. Works to establish the bus parking spaces and solar panel canopies are scheduled for completion in Q4 of 2021. The bus depot in Lusail is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2022. The programme also includes the Park and Ride parking spaces, bus stations and ferry (water taxi) terminals.
Work to establish four new sites under the “Park and Ride” project has been wrapped up, as part of the first package of the programme. Two in Al Qassar and Al Wakra were inaugurated for the public in January 2020. The other two in Lusail and Education City are near 100% completion and ready to open soon.
Work is underway to establish seven bus terminals within the second and third packages of the programme. Delivery nears 68% for bus terminals in Al-Sudan, Lusail, Al-Wakra, Education City and Industrial Area and would complete during the third quarter of 2021. Works at bus terminals in Msheireb and Al-Gharafa are 31% complete and would be fully delivered during the first quarter of 2022.
The programme includes establishing a ferry terminal and parking spaces (water taxi) under the fourth package in Lusail, Doha Port, Hamad International Airport and the Pearl. These are in addition to establishing a bus terminal in the West Bay. Work is underway to award the project tender to the most qualified company during the first quarter of 2021.
The Public Bus Infrastructure Programme aims to achieve integration with public transit systems countrywide and support transportation operations during FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and beyond. It also wants to increase public transit ridership by offering high-quality service and facilities with world best technologies and specifications.
The programme reflects MoTC’s attention to implementing the strategy of switching to clean energy in transportation to reduce carbon emissions of conventional vehicles and improve overall air and climate quality in Qatar. Among key strategy objectives is supporting transit operations during FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 to make Qatar second-to-none worldwide in using electric, eco-friendly vehicles during a FIFA championship, let alone integration with other public transit systems.