Qatar’s public transportation company Mowasalat plans to more than double its current fleet of taxis by the time the 2022 World Cup comes around, a senior official has said.
The state-backed firm has confirmed plans to ensure that 7,000 taxis are on the roads before the world football tournament gets underway in Qatar, where up to a million fans are expected to attend the games.
The current Karwa fleet hovers around 3,000 cars.
Some 1,200 of those are Mowasalat-run taxis, and the rest are operated by two franchisees – 1,000 blue-roofed cars from Al Ijarah, and 800 from maroon-roofed Al Million.
Speaking to Doha News, a Mowasalat spokeswoman said that Qatar would have a total of 4,000 taxis by the end of this year.
New taxi firms
Earlier this year, Mowasalat’s CEO Khalid al-Hail said that contracts had been awarded to two new taxi franchisees.
The third operator, Ibn Ajayan, will have 300 cars on the road by the summer, with a further 200 by the end of the year, Mowasalat’s spokeswoman told Doha News.
An announcement about Profit Trading & Contracting Company, the fourth franchisee confirmed by Mowasalat, will be issued “soon,” she added.
Mowasalat has previously said that it was looking into tender contracts to bring another two firms on board, creating a total of six franchises under the Karwa taxi brand, which has been operating for more than 10 years.
Previous plans to roll out yellow-roofed taxis from firm Petro Qatar were scrapped for not meeting licensing requirements last summer.
Just last month, Mowasalat announced that Qatar’s Karwa taxi service will be run entirely by private firms by 2017, as it withdraws to operate solely as a regulator.
Mowasalat was unable to confirm what would happen to more than 1,000 taxis it currently runs, or if it will continue to set fares for all its franchisees.
In a bid to counter customer complaints of difficulties booking a car, the firm has plans to set up a unified call center for all Karwa taxis, providing advanced booking services to customers through an electronic system, Mowasalat said in a statement.
Currently, each of the firms operate its own call center and booking service.
In reference to the latest announcement, Mowasalat’s Executive Director of Support Services, Nasser al Khanji, was quoted in Qatar Tribune as saying:
“In addition to adhering to safety standards, and providing well-trained drivers who would take the passengers safely to their destination, Mowasalat also aims to project the aspirations and image of Qatar at home and abroad.”
As Qatar’s population continues to increase, many residents complain about problems in getting a taxi, especially during evenings and weekends.
Meanwhile, the Karwa cars have drawn ire for their customer service, as customers cite drivers who claim their meters are broken, overcharge and are late.
However, some drivers say they are forced to operate in such a way to make enough money to cover their debts and daily car rental fee.
Just what we need. More traffic.
well, lets just hope that Qatar’s roads, similarly will double by 2022. otherwise what will actually double is the time we spend in traffic & we’ll all be sitting in parking lots for 4 hours a day instead of two..
You spend 2 hours a day in a parking lot ? Agenius indeed !
More traffic? Nice :)) Yeeeeyyyy
Before they add more taxis (or even think about it), they better teach their DRIVERS not to CHEAT their passengers! Or better yet, replace all drivers with new ones.
I strongly encourage all passengers to VIDEO RECORD their taxi trips/travels with their mobile phones to document how the drivers are treating us.
For all your complains to any of the existing taxis (green Karwa Mowasalat/red Al Million/blue Alijarah), call 4458-8888. If the call center agent refuses to take your complain (which already happened to me many times), get their names and e-mail the taxi company.
The logistics of the World Cup look more questionable by the day.
no need to double it for world cup 2022?? Qatar will not host FIFA 2022…
And where are they going to fit these taxis? The roads are packed as it is now. I don’t want to think about how jammed the roads are going to be 8 years from now.
If I could hail a Karwa Taxi on the street or reliably call a Karwa Taxi for pick-up, I would sell my car in a heartbeat.
It’s cheaper and reduces traffic+parking headaches.
I say double the number of taxis this year (and treat the drivers better), not by 2022!
Is this a joke?
Isn’t it all a joke?
Yep, but it aint funny most of the time.
It’s funny to the ones who make these announcement and then sit in their Majlis in the evening and have a nice laugh about how they fool the public.
The problem of these taxis are the games that their drivers play from time to time: not switching on the meter, switching on the night meter during the day, refusing to take people to some places, etc. As long as these issues are not addressed Karwa will always remain the last option anyone would think of here. If you add to that that Uber might take off here then I am afraid the future for Karwa does not look that bright.
7,000 taxis for an expected 1 million fans..ohh dear..its spelt like this (in English)…P.L.A.N.N.I.N.G…Planning…doesn’t seem to catch on though…7000 for 1 million…hope there are more than 7000 riot police in this event.
Doha news. Why are my comments being deleted. This is on two articles now and my comments were posted but now have gone. So it seems have other comments, again in this post.
Happens to me too, getting tired of it, they will lose hits.
Yes most disappointing.
Breaking news! more crooks on the loose!
One of the main reasons why private taxis, limousines,etc are flourishing and getting more customers is because of the bad attitude problem of this Karwa drivers. If they were doing their job in a way they were meant to do it then passengers would not have been running away to this private taxis for sure.
The main reason the Karwa drivers have bad attitude is their working conditions…trying to repay the car hire for the day and make a living is hard for them. Secondly the companies need to clean the cars, most are disgusting inside which is my main reason for not using. Lastly if you call a private car he comes, call Karwa, well its a lottery.
Im pretty sure that there needs to be at least double the amount of Taxi’s on the road already…
Now add in another 8yrs population growth & the worlds 2nd biggest sporting event…
Karwa must be licking their lips getting ready to charge their drivers stupid amounts for the daily car hire. This is the reason drivers choose not the follow the rules (i.e. meters). If they did, then 90% of them wouldnt actually make any money! The problem start at the top.
service is the problem,not the amount of cars….try to book a taxi online,through app or by phone…good luck with that
7000 taxis on the road which means one third will actually stop to ask where you want to go, half of these will actually know the place you want to go, half of these again will actually take you (rather than wait for a better fare), one third of these will use the meter, half of these drivers will have to be told to slow down ( karwa drivers have become one of the biggest menaces on the roads) and that leaves about 95 taxis to safely and conveniently take you where you need to go…..as usual, very encouraging statistics for Qatar