Hamad Port has received 130 electric buses — the last batch of a total of 741 units Qatar ordered for the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. The fleet of e-buses will be fully operated by Mowasalat (Karwa) embedded in the country’s public transit system, thus creating a lasting legacy of clean energy mass transit after the championship.
This step is reinforcing Qatar’s leading ranking in the field of clean energy mass transit, positioning it among first countries in the world to have an integrated system of electric buses. It is also showing Qatar’s commitment to world’s clean energy solutions for transportation and backing the hosting of an exceptional, ecofriendly, and carbon-neutral world cup.
The fleet of electric buses support the execution of the plan of action of the strategy of transitioning to electric vehicles that the ministry developed in association with the bodies concerned. The full delivery of Qatar’s electric bus order has set the stage for transforming 25 percent of the bus fleet of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 to electric.
Minister of Transport HE Jassim Saif Ahmed Al Sulaiti said that the arrival of the final batch of e-buses and revealing the bus stations and depots operation timelines is a major step backing the strategy of transitioning to electric vehicles.
He noted that all the facilities of the programme have been equipped with the infrastructure necessary for operating e-buses.
These accomplishments, he added, will support the objectives of the Public Bus Infrastructure Programme by providing an integrated and sustainable public transportation network that covers all urban areas and forms a coherent transportation unit that includes public transit buses, the Doha Metro and the Lusail Tram.
These accomplishments are especially important as they will concur with the events of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, he said.
The minister said they were fully confident the public transit network in Qatar was a fundamental factor for the success of that global event and would let visitors use multimodal means of transportation, giving them an exceptional experience that is also safer, smoother, and more coherent.
He said that the Public Bus Infrastructure Programme in Qatar is one of the most ecofriendly programs in the world, laying the foundation for a full switch to a transportation system powered by clean and ecofriendly electric energy instead of the conventional fuel.
That massive public transit program, he added, and which began bearing fruits, is positioning the country on advanced rankings globally in the field of public transit and its services provided for citizens, residents, and visitors.
During 2022, electric buses will be used on metrolink services. They will also be used on public transit routes that will basically operate in Doha City, in addition to deploying them in Lusail City and Al Khor.
There will be over 200 operational and administrative staff and over 3,000 drivers for the operations of the e-bus fleet.
Mowasalat (Karwa) has already begun electrifying public transit routes. Currently, Route 76 is already in full operation. Moreover, all alternative transportation services for the Gold Line and Red Line of Doha Metro run with electric buses.
In 2023 and beyond, electric buses will be used on 44 metrolink routes and 48 public transit routes.
Supporting that, Karwa will fully operate 8 bus stations equipped with electric charging equipment in Al Sudan, the Industrial Area, Al Wakra, the Education City, Lusail, Gharrafa and Msheireb, gradually as of this May through August 2022.
The West Bay Central Bus Station will start operation in November 2022. Karwa is also receiving 4 bus depots in Q3 of 2022, equipped with all service and living facilities for the staff, in addition to supplying and installing over 600 electric bus charging devices at bus stations and depots, as well as at metro stations and other locations within the approved routes of electric buses that serve public transportation operations and the fans of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, and they will be finalized in Q3 of 2022.
Additionally, 2,600 bus stops will be established at the locations of bus routes and where buses operate with the first phase of the project expected to complete in October 2022, according to the public transit operation plan during and after the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
These projects are part of the Public Bus Infrastructure Program the Ministry is developing in cooperation with the Public Works Authority “Ashghal”.
On his part, Fahad Saad Al Qahtani, Mowasalat (Karwa) CEO, said: “Mowasalat (Karwa) is keen to provide all modern, comfortable, and ecofriendly transport solutions using the latest technology in preparation for hosting the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, and to be a true legacy in line with the sustainable development projects sought by the state beyond the tournament.
“We will be one of the mainstays in the process of transporting fans, athletes and guests through the largest bus operation in the history of sports tournaments. In parallel to the implementation of the latest smart fleet technology, we have also thoroughly trained our team of drivers, engineers, data analysts, and maintenance staff in creating a seamlessly efficient travel experience for our passengers.”
“The electric buses are fully customized to handle the demands of street and weather conditions in Qatar and are equipped with the latest and safest proven battery technology in the automotive industry, with an average reach of more than 200km per full charge. Those electric buses comply with the most comprehensive safety standards and a local inspection process ensures that the technical and operational aspects are following all of Qatar’s regulations.”
Al Qahtani added, “Mowasalat invests heavily to reduce carbon emissions from its conventional fleet, improving the quality of Qatar’s climate and supporting Qatar’s transition away from a hydrocarbon-based economy to create a clean and healthy environment for generations to come.”
The bus stations are part of the same programme. They are 8 in number in Al Sudan, Msheireb, Gharrafa, Lusail, Al Wakra, the Education City, the Industrial Area, and West Bay.
The station building features an iconic curved canopy that spans above it, contributing to the brand identity associated with bus stations. The canopy evokes the ripples of sand dunes with the cladding on the underside of the canopy featuring linear baguette elements evoking the beautiful craftsmanship of traditional hand-made Qatari objects such as woven baskets. Public bus stations include ticketing outlets, offices for the operating company employees, a passenger waiting area and other visitor service facilities.