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Transportation

Public Transportation in Qatar

24 April 2019

Qatar, being a hot destination, your mode of transportation becomes an important aspect to consider when visiting or living in Qatar. Given the hot weather in this country, it is advisable not to walk around in peak summer, even if for a short distance. Despite not owning a car, getting around Qatar should not be much of a hassle to you. Public transportation in Qatar is good, and you can commute using buses or taxis to get to your destination. There is an excellent bus network which links the whole of Doha to the rest of the country.

Mowasalat, a government-owned organization operates the bus network, and monitors the taxi service in the country, under the Karwa banner. Mowasalat operates the public transportation system in Qatar and are responsible for their growth.  The group removed the original orange taxis in the city that were privately owned, and replaced them with the new turquoise taxi sedans.

public bus transportation

Modes of Transportation

Bus

There are buses plying through several routes around Doha, connecting it to other parts of Qatar. But, if you have a regular route to take, you can visit the Mowasalat website and familiarize yourself with the bus schedule, bus route and map. Buses ply from morning to night, with some buses, particularly the Mowasalat fleet being modern and air-conditioned. The front seats in the buses are generally reserved for women and children. The bus fare is QR3 to QR4 (within Doha) and QR4 to QR9 (outside Doha). Opting for a Karwa Smart Card may be the best way to use the public transportation in Qatar, if you are dependent on this mode of transport regularly.

For purchase and top-up of Karwa Smart Card, you can do so at the ticket vending machines at Hamad International Airport, Doha Bus Station, Qatar Mall, the Pearl Qatar and at Partner Merchants outlets (visit Mowasalat website for locations).

The Karwa Smart Card is of three types:

  • Classic Card, (Cost: QR.30) Rechargeable card for long term.
  • Limited Card, 24hr (Cost: QR.10): Good for two journeys within 24-hrs of purchase.
  • Unlimited Card, 24hr (Cost: QR.20): Good for unlimited journeys within 24-hrs of purchase.

You can even board the bus without a smartcard, but will have to pay a ‘no card fee’ of QR10 in cash. The buses are an affordable alternative to travel around in Qatar, considering the expenses involved in purchase and maintenance of a car.

When using the card, you need to tap in on boarding and tap out when leaving.

Website: http://www.mowasalat.com/
Contact: 44588588
Email: info@mowasalat.com
For bus route details visit http://www.mowasalat.com/English/Our-Services/Bus-Routes

Taxi

There are several taxi companies in Qatar. You can also hail a taxi across the street. But, if you are in a remote area, or during peak hours, it may be difficult to get one. During such times, if you request for a taxi pick, you will have to wait for some time before the taxi arrives. Another reliable way of getting a taxi is by visiting taxi bays in mall or hotels. 

Among the popular taxi companies in Qatar are Karwa, Careem and Uber. These companies have Mobile app and hence, you can easily book a taxi at an additional fare. Among the three, the Karwa taxis are the most popular and comfortable, given the fact that these taxis are more spacious and clean. Apart from the turquoise colored Karwa taxis, Mowasalat also offers Doha Limousine Service which can be availed from the Hamad International Airport and from any major hotels in Qatar.

Qatar taxi service

Careem taxis are private car and are chauffeur-driven. You can just log on to the Careem website https://www.careem.com/en-ae/cities/doha/ or mobile app, and drive or get a ride by specifying the time of your ride. Uber taxis are reliable too, and can be booked through their Mobile app. They offer cashless payments too. For details, visit https://www.uber.com/en-IN/cities/doha/

There are several other private taxis too, available for rental in Qatar. For more details on this, visit
https://www.onlineqatar.com/living/transportation/qatar-taxi-fares-and-types-of-taxies-in-doha

Generally, Mowasalat monitors the operation of taxis and taxi limousines. The taxis in Qatar are metered as follows:

Minimum taxi fare per trip QR10
Flag Fall - QR4
Rate / km within Doha at Day Time QR1.6
Rate / km within Doha at Night Time QR1.9
Rate / km outside Doha Day / Night QR1.9

To hail a taxi, call:

For Taxi Rides – 800-TAXI (8294)
For Limo Reservations:  800-LIMO (5466)
For General Inquries: 800-RIDE (7433)
Karwa, Doha Taxi : 4588888

Railways

Buses and taxis have been so far the most popular public transport in Qatar. The Qatar Integrated Railways Project covers four metro lines in Doha, tram routes in West Bay, Lusail high-speed line and dedicated freight airways.

The Doha Metro is a rapid transit system, currently under construction in Doha, which is expected to get operationall by mid-2019. The Metro will have four lines with an overall length of 300km and 100 stations. Overall, the Doha Metro will comprise four lines, apart from the Red Line, Gold Line and Green Line planned for first phase. The Blue Line may come up in second phase.

Flights

There is only one active principal international airport in Qatar, namely, the Hamad International Airport. This implies that domestic flights are not possible within Qatar, and moreover, given the small size of the nation, with a coastline of just 563kms, it is easier to travel by bus or car and save time.

Robin Vinod

Writer/blogger who writes on topics such as travel, real estate, employment and everyday life on GCC countries.

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