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FIFA World Cup

Electric bus fleet of 2022 World Cup qualified nations raring to go

Hamad Port has received 130 electric buses, which marks the last batch of a total of 741 units Qatar had ordered for the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

The fleet of e-buses will be fully operated by Mowasalat (Karwa) and embedded in the country’s public transit system, thus creating a lasting legacy of clean-energy mass transit after the championship, the Ministry of Transport (MoT) said in a statement on Monday.

“This step is reinforcing Qatar’s leading ranking in the field of clean-energy mass transit, positioning it among the 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, eco-friendly and carbon-neutral World Cup,” the statement noted.

The fleet of electric buses comes in the context of supporting the execution of the action plan as part of the strategy to transition to electric vehicles that the ministry has developed in association with the bodies concerned. The full delivery of Qatar’s electric bus order is setting the stage for transforming 25% of the bus fleet of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 to electric.

During 2022, electric buses will be used for metrolink services. They will also be used on public transit routes that will basically operate in Doha, in addition to deploying them in Lusail City and Al Khor. There will be over 200 operational and administrative staff members and more than 3,000 drivers for the e-bus fleet operations.

Mowasalat (Karwa) has already begun electrifying public transit routes. Currently, Route 76 is in full operation. Moreover, all alternative transportation services for the Gold and Red lines 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 eight bus stations equipped with electric charging equipment in Al Sudan, the Industrial Area, Al Wakra, Education City, Lusail, Gharrafa and Msheireb, gradually from May through August.

The West Bay Central Bus Station will start operating in November, the ministry informed. Also, Karwa will receive four bus depots in the third quarter 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 will serve public transportation operations and fans of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, and these will be finalised in Q3 of 2022.

Additionally, 2,600 bus stops will be established at the locations of bus routes and where buses operate within the first phase of the project expected to complete in October, according to the public transit operation plan during and after the World Cup.

These projects are part of the Public Bus Infrastructure Programme the ministry is developing in co-operation with the Public Works Authority (Ashghal).

On this occasion, HE the Minister of Transport Jassim Seif Ahmed al-Sulaiti said the arrival of the final batch of e-buses and revealing the bus station and depot operation timelines are a major and advanced step backing the strategy of transitioning to electric vehicles, noting 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 Lusail Tram.

These accomplishments are especially important as they will concur with the events of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, he said.

HE the Minister said they are fully confident that the public transit network in Qatar is a fundamental factor in the success of the 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 the Public Bus Infrastructure Programme in Qatar is one of the most eco-friendly programmes in the world, laying the foundation for a full switch to a transportation system powered by clean and eco-friendly electric energy instead of the conventional fuel.

The massive public transit programme, which has begun bearing fruits, is positioning the country in advanced rankings globally in the field of public transit and its services provided for citizens, residents and visitors, he added.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 customised 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 (Karwa) 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.”

Bus stations The bus stations are part of the same programme. These are eight in number, located in Al Sudan, Msheireb, Gharrafa, Lusail, Al Wakra, 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.

Credit: Gulf News 

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