The Doha Metro has recorded more than 41mn trips since it opened in May 2019, providing a safe, faster, and efficient mode of transportation to Qatar residents and visitors, especially during major sporting events such as the ongoing FIFA Arab Cup 2021.
Speaking to Gulf Times on the sidelines of an exclusive tour at the Education City station before the Qatar – Oman match yesterday, engineer Mohamed al-Hashemi from the Transportation Planning Department at Qatar Rail said there was “a rapid response from the public” to use the metro since its launching.
All roads lead to the Education City Stadium for the Qatar-Oman match Friday. PICTURES: Shaji Kayamkulam
“It is safe, there is zero accident, people can get from point A to Z without facing any traffic, and the demand has been increasing dramatically since we opened, and during such a tournament (Arab Cup),” he said. “Hopefully in the (FIFA) World Cup (in 2022), it will be the same as we planned”.
The Doha Metro, with 37 stations in three lines (Red, Green, and Gold), now operates with 110 trains in its entire network, extending more than 76km, according to Qatar Rail.
Engineer Mohamed al-Hashemi
As part of the operational plan during the Arab Cup, Qatar Rail has increased the number of cars per train from three to six on the 40km Red Line, which covers 18 stations.
Qatar Rail noted that “the Arab Cup represents an important opportunity to measure the efficiency of the network in light of the presence of large numbers of fans looking to go to the matches, and at the same time learn about the different destinations where they can have fun.”
The Qatar - Oman match yesterday has attracted a huge number of football fans
Doha Metro services working hours have been extended for the tournament from 6am to 3am (Saturday to Thursday) and from 9am to 3am on Fridays until December 18.
Qatar Rail issued a digital guide dubbed “Your Guide to the Stadium” to provide details about metro transportation, and the stations and lines that must be headed to reach the stadiums where the tournament matches will be held. Metro passengers can also scan a QR code at Metro stations and in the screens inside the trains to obtain the needed information.
All set to cheer for the Qatar team
Qatar Rail noted that the Education City station, one of the 11 Green Line stations (including the Msheireb and Al Bida interchange stations) where the Education City Stadium can be accessed, has a maximum capacity of 15,000 passengers per hour.
Education City Stadium is hosting five matches throughout the tournament, including the December 1 clash between Saudi Arabia and Jordan, and one of the quarter-finals matches on December 10.
Al-Hashemi said they have been collaborating with different government organisations such as the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Transportation and Communication, Qatar Foundation, Ministry of Municipality and Environment, and Public Works Authority (Ashghal), among others, to deliver a successful tournament such as the 2021 Arab Cup.
Qatar Rail has been keen to enhance the transportation experience through support services such as Metrolink and Metro Express, which facilitate public access to metro stations, he added.
Operational plan for Doha Metro during the FIFA Arab Cup 2021:
• For stations located near the stadiums where the tournament is being held, the public can go directly to three of them - Stadium 974 through Ras Abu Aboud Station (Golden Line), Education City Stadium through Education City Station (Green Line) and Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium through Riffa Station (Green Line).
• Co-ordination with the organising committee of the tournament regarding buses transporting fans from stations to stadiums that are not directly connected to the metro network, where fans can go to the other three stadiums (all located on the red line), which are Al Bayt Stadium through Lusail QNB station, and to Al Thumama Stadium through Free zone Station, and to Al-Janoub Stadium through Al-Wakra Station.
• Tournament fans can use the metro services through the (Haya) fan card to travel throughout the tournament on the economy class on the metro until December 19, 2021. In this regard, the Doha Metro team has programmed and activated more than 210,000 cards within a short period, as all tests were conducted necessary to ensure their compatibility with the current metro system regulations.
• The Qatar Rail company, in co-ordination with the authorities concerned, has been keen to provide “park and ride” parking spaces around metro stations, a service currently available in 14 stations to allow the public to park their cars and continue their journeys by metro.