Ticket To Ride - Qatar’s New Metro System
Towards the end of 2013, Qatar broke ground on a new project - one that would change the nation’s future immeasurably.
The construction of the new Metro rail network was put forward as part of Qatar’s bid for the 2022 FIFA World Cup hosting rights. The Metro would be part of an environmentally friendly and efficient transport strategy, transporting over a million fans to and from matches, events, and Qatar’s sights and attractions throughout the tournament. On a wider scale, the Metro is part of Qatar’s National Vision for the country’s future. By 2020, Qatar envisioned a fully operational Metro Rail system that would enhance the nation’s lives, add fuel to the country’s growing economy, and provide a sustainable, environmentally friendly transport option for the future.
In May 2019, Qatar announced that part of their Red Line was open for business. By December 2019, all three planned Metro lines were open and ready to transport the nation’s people across the city and beyond.
In just six years, Qatar delivered a fast, efficient transport network, ready for the nation, the World Cup and the future.
So, if you are visiting, what can you expect?
The Metro - A Quick Guide
Metro Train Lines
The new Metro consists of three lines - the Red, the Gold and the Green. The train lines stretch north, east, west and south of Doha over 76 km and stopping at 37 stations.
The Red Line
The Red Line transports passengers from Al Wakra, south of the city, to Lusail City in the North, with a branch off to the east taking travellers to Hamad International Airport’s Terminal 1. The Red Line stretches 40 km in total and stops at 18 stations.
The Gold Line
The Gold Line offers customers transport from Ras Abu Aboud to the south-east of the city, to Al Aziziyah, to the south-west of the city. Trains stop at 11 stations along the Gold Line’s 14 km length.
The Green Line
The Green Line takes passengers along its 22 km length, stopping at 11 stations from Al Mansoura in the city to Al Riffa, west of the city.
With only a few kilometers (on average) between stations on each line, the journey from station to station only takes minutes, especially on the speedy trains provided.
75 state-of-the-art trains, designed especially for Qatar, operate across the Metro network. The trains, which can travel up to 100 kph, are the fastest driverless trains in the world.
Each train comprises three carriages - one for Gold Club and Family ticket holders and two for Standard ticket holders. The Gold and Family carriage has a total of 42 seats, 16 of which are reserved for Gold Club members. The Standard carriages have a total of 88 seats available. All carriages are accessible and provide dedicated space for wheelchair users.
Not only is each train fast and efficient, but they are clean, modern, accessible and spacious, with handy displays in Arabic and English giving pertinent information about the journey and real-time service updates.
Equally as modern, accessible and efficient are the Metro stations where passengers embark and alight.
Each station is equipped with an information kiosk, ticketing office and easy-to-use ticket vending machines, prayer rooms and restrooms, first aid room, lifts, security cameras and plenty of trained customer service staff.
Msheireb and Al Bidda stations provide interchange between lines. Msheireb Station allows passengers to change between all three lines, and Al Bidda provides an interchange between the Green and Red lines.
Travel cards are available for travel in Gold Club, Family and Standard carriages. Children over 5-years of age and adults require tickets for travel*; under 5’s travel free.
Gold Club Travel Cards can be purchased at Gold Club Offices or Vending Machines in each Metro station, for QAR 100. The card must be ‘topped-up’ with credit before travel.
Single trips in Gold Club carriages cost QAR 10, and Day Passes cost QAR 30.
Standard Travel Cards are for use in both Standard and Family carriages. The travel card can be purchased for QAR 10 at Vending Machines in each Metro station or at licensed retailers (Al Meera, LuLu, Carrefour, Jumbo Electrics and Family Food Centre). The card must be ‘topped-up’ with credit before travel.
Single trips in Family and Standard carriages cost QAR 2, and Day Passes cost QAR 6 (max. daily).
Limited Use Travel Tickets may also be purchased for occasional travel purposes - Gold Club or Standard limited use tickets are available. These tickets can be bought at Gold Club Offices or Vending Machines in each Metro station. They come with credit for the specified journey and are non-reusable.
A Gold Club Limited Use Ticket costs QAR 15 for a single and QAR 45 for a Day Pass.
A Standard Limited Use Tickets costs QAR 3 for a single and QAR 9 (max. daily) for a Day Pass.
Gold Club and Standard Travel Cards can also be topped-up online or via the Qatar Rail mobile application.
Qatar Rail Mobile Application
Qatar Rail, responsible for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the new Metro network, has developed a mobile application for Metro customers. The application allows customers to plan their journey, check services, top-up travel card credit, and to check free shuttle bus timings and bus stop locations (see Getting There and Away section below).
The application can be downloaded via the App Store or Google Play.
Getting There and Away
Free buses and a trial free car-share service are available to take Metro travellers to and from Metro stations. The service offers transport from or to up to 5 km away.
Free Metrolink shuttle buses operate out of each Metro Station. The buses transport Metro customers to and from the station within a set radius. Buses run every 12 minutes. The bus schedule for each station is provided at the station entrance and can be viewed online, via the Qatar Rail website and the associated mobile app.
The Metro Express is a free trial car-share service, currently operating out of the West Bay and DECC stations. The service offers Metro customers first and last transport to and from the station in 7 seater vans. The service is booked through the Metro Express application (downloaded via the App Store or Google Play).
Success So Far…
Since the opening of the new Metro Lines, Qatar has held several major sporting events within the city, such as the 24th Arabian Gulf Cup and the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup. For the first time, fans have been able to travel to and from match Stadiums using the Metro. Not only has this enabled Qatar Rail to measure the efficiency and capability of their services, but it has also offered insight into how fans will move about the city during the 2022 World Cup. Each event has helped World Cup organisers and rail staff prepare in advance for the arrival of fans, their movement around the city, and their safety and security.
It is worth mentioning that all ticket holders for the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup were entitled to free Metro travel on match days. The same arrangement will be available during the 2022 World Cup - all you will need to show is your match ticket!
In 2022, Qatar’s Metro system will provide a cost-effective, time-efficient and environmentally friendly way of transporting thousands of fans to and from each match in the tournament. Roads and stadiums will be relatively uncongested with vehicles, and this already compact venue for the World Cup will be easily navigable and vastly accessible compared to previous events. Not only will fans be able to travel to several matches within the same day, but they will do so in comfort and style, for limited cost, and have plenty of downtime during the tournament to sample the rest of Qatar’s sights.
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