DOHA: The Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning has announced several measures to popularise the free West Bay shuttle bus service launched in January, which has few takers.
The plan includes setting up air-conditioned bus shelters.
The Ministry is also planning an innovative campaign named “Irkun Irkab”, which can be loosely translated as “ park your car and get into a bus.”
As part of the campaign, the Ministry will provide more car parking areas along West Bay and the Corniche to allow motorists to use the bus service during rush hours.
Two parking areas are already available, near the Post Office and in West Bay — between Asas tower and Beach tower — the Ministry said yesterday.
“The Ministry is trying to find the possibility of establishing new lanes and stops for the buses,” Qatar News Agency said, citing a ministry statement. The Ministry said the number of passengers had increased about 63 percent since the launch of the service.
“People are giving comments and suggestions on social media and many are appreciating this free service,” said the ministry.
The ministry said such initiatives will take time to succeed and it will work closely with the Ministry of Transport to improve the services as well as the number of users.
“We need to be aware of the timing to start such new projects and the way they can realise their goals. We cannot ignore the citizens’ attitude towards public transportation. The Ministry will keep supporting such projects to promote public transport,” said Mohammed Al Sayed, director of Doha Municipality. He welcomed the suggestions and comments given by passengers to develop the service. A suggestion box is available in each bus.
Fourteen buses shuttle from 6am to 12 midnight throughout the week, connecting all tourist sites, business centres, offices, commercial complexes, residential areas and hotels in West Bay. They stop at 36 bus stops and the service has a frequency of 15 minutes, said the Ministry.