Posted on May 08, 2014

The West Bay Bus service is drawing more passengers, according to a senior Mowasalat official. Speaking to Gulf Times yesterday, the company spokesman said the latest figures showed that the number of passengers had trebled in April.

“Compared to the utilisation of the circular bus service in March, the number of passengers had trebled in April,” said the official. He, however, did not disclose the figures.

The circular buses have been operating in West Bay since the middle of January. The buses, the official said, have been introduced with the intention of easing traffic congestion by effecting a reduction in the number of private cars in the West Bay area, especially in peak hours.

“Even though patronage for the West Bay circular bus service in the initial two months was not that encouraging, the latest figures show that if operated in an effective and efficient manner, there will be many takers for the service,” he said.

Any public transport service will take a minimum of 5-6 years to yield desirable results, he said, adding that in Qatar, the public transport bus service has not completed even a decade. The buses hit the country’s roads in October 2005.

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Apart from those who use the circular service after parking their vehicles at the two points where the buses originate, there are others who take the buses to reach their destinations from the 28 points along the routes, it is learnt. Currently, the buses are operated on two routes - blue line and red line. The service is provided free to the public.

The West Bay Bus service is operated jointly by the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning (MMUP), Ministry of Transport and Mowasalat. More than a dozen buses are used for the circular operations from Qatar Sports Club and Khalifa International Tennis Complex. It has been in operation since January 15.In a bid to encourage residents to avail of the service, the MMUP and Ministry of Transport announced recently that covered bus shelters would be set up at several points along the routes in the next few months.

source: Gulf Times