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Qatar gives new electric buses demo run before World Cup

Qatar World Cup public transport Supplied
Qatar's public transport operator mirrors World Cup traffic in a two-day demo run
  • Mowasalat (Karwa) adds 90 electric buses to its Doha fleet
  • Demo run tests over 2,300 tournament service buses across 80 routes 

Qatar’s public transport provider Mowasalat (Karwa) added 90 new electric buses to its fleet this month.

There are also plans to make all Karwa taxis around Doha fully electric as part of its efforts to reduce carbon emissions to meet Qatar’s Vision 2030 goals. 

Working in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport and Qatar Rail, Karwa’s vehicles – 60 minibuses and 30 medium-sized buses that are zero-emission and near-zero noise – will make Metro stations more accessible in time for the FIFA World Cup 2022, held from November 21 to December 18.

And in a mammoth operation carried out in late September, Mowasalat (Karwa) executed a demo run to test over 2,300 tournament service buses across 80 routes, mirroring the days with the highest ridership during Qatar 2022. 

Ahmad Hassan Al-Obaidly, COO of Mowasalat (Karwa), said he hoped the new environmentally-friendly fleet will persuade more Qataris as well as visitors to use public transport.  

“I encourage the people of Qatar to avail of the country’s modern public transport system and make it your preferred mode of transport,” he said.

Qatar electric buses
Qatar’s new electric bus will be used by visitors during the World Cup

Abdulla Saif al-Sulaiti, chief of service delivery for Qatar Rail, said the metrolink buses played a key role in encouraging the use of the Doha Metro – launched in 2019 – as an alternative to private transport.

“I look forward to the successful implementation of e-buses to the metrolink fleet and further expansion of the network,” he said.

Qatar’s demo run last month in advance of Qatar 2022 saw the Karwa transport workforce, specially trained for the tournament bus services, hit the road, connecting 25 major depots and operation hubs for Qatar 2022, among them Souq Waqif, the Fan Zones, West Bay, Umm Besher, Barwa Madinatna, and Barahat Al-Janoub. 

The objective of this test drive was to stress test the road network with a bus volume comparable to the one anticipated for the World Cup.

The exercise also tested the efficacy of the last-mile support network as well as the various junctures for pedestrian crossing. 

The tests carried out on both days included services to and from the major World Cup stadiums, transportation on the arterial road network within Doha and its environs, as well as airport connectivity services.

Testing the connectivity with other more distant depots, including the ones in Al Khor, Mesaimeer and Wadi Abu Saleel, was also an integral part of the whole exercise.

Fahad Al Qahtani, CEO of Mowasalat (Karwa), said: “The successful completion of this colossal exercise to test the transportation readiness of Qatar during Qatar 2022 is a further testament to our country’s readiness in hosting the global event.”