Doha Metro contractors have finished excavation efforts for six underground stations and are on track to complete their work in time for the system to open in late 2019, a top Qatar Rail official has said.
Crews have dug roughly 27 meters below the surface, the deepest point for the six stations, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Turki Al Subaie, managing director of Qatar Rail Co., recently told local business magazine The Edge.
Ground has also been broken on the remaining stations that are scheduled to be part of the first phase of the rail project, Al Subaie added.
His comments are one of the first official updates on the Doha Metro in almost a year, when Qatar Rail provided a comprehensive overview of its plans.
Since then, it has remained largely quiet about its progress, leaving it to foreign construction firms and architects to announce their involvement and show how the massive transportation project is taking shape.
Leaving cars at home
Authorities hope that once the metro opens to passengers, the rail will help reduce worsening traffic woes in Doha. Gridlock has become a daily reality for many motorists as the city’s population grows alongside the country’s booming economy.
But getting cars off the road requires residents to shift their commuting habits and give up the convenience of their personal vehicle in favor of public transit.
While Al Subaie told The Edge that Qatar Rail plans to educate residents about the environmental benefits of taking transit, he also noted that the system will be designed to encourage users to leave their cars at home.
Because not all metro stations will have big parking lots, passengers may need to take high-frequency feeder buses that will run through neighborhoods to get to the stations, Al Subaie was quoted as saying.
“In the future, you may not always be able to park your car just near to the place you would like to see … We are trying to minimise the number of cars entering the city from outskirts of Doha. So we don’t want, for example, someone to come into the city and park inside the city,” he said.
Al Subaie added that Metro stations would be connected to existing buildings where possible, providing shelter for pedestrians as they walk to and from stations in Qatar’s hotter months.
System takes shape
Station construction sites – some occupying the equivalent of several city blocks – have sprouted up across Doha in recent months, helping residents visualize where the metro will run.
The first phase will consist of 37 stations along four lines:
- The Red Line North, running from a connection with Lusail’s light-rail line to Msheireb via West Bay;
- The Red Line South, running from Msheireb to Hamad International Airport;
- The Green Line, running from Al Rayyan Stadium to Msheireb via Education City; and
- The Gold Line, running from Villaggio Mall to the area around the old Doha International Airport, via Msheireb.
Al Subaie said the frequency of train service has not been determined, but would presumably fluctuate between peak and off-peak times.
Qatar Rail previously estimated that the train ride between Education City and Msheireb would take 16 minutes. The trip between Msheireb and Qatar University, meanwhile, was estimated to take 18 minutes.
The Doha Metro is one of three rail projects underway in Qatar.
Some 30.5 kilometers of light-rail lines are planned for Lusail. The first line is expected to start operating in 2018, according to lead contractor QDVC – a joint venture between the Qatari Diar and French infrastructure firm Vinci.
Construction on a long-distance rail and freight line, meanwhile, is scheduled to start late next year and run between a station at Education City and Saudi Arabia in its initial phase.
A few points to make on this one.
1. If they actually finish by 2019, ahem, then how many of the current expats will still be here by then. Probably not that many.
2. Qataris will never use it and give up their cars
3. Will they have family only carriages where brown people are not allowed?
By here you mean Qatar, or here you mean Dohanews…as I’m sure you will be here on Doha news in 2019
1) many may leave but others will come, most western expats tend to leave in about 3-4 years but arabs stay longer
2) yeah true but we make up a small percentage of the country, to have a strong impact on reducing traffic we arent the ones we should aim.
3) seeing as how most qatari’s (including myself ) are brown i don’t think that would be an issue.
2) I wouldn’t be so sure, a link between Villaggio, CC, Lagoona, Pearl, Katara, not a bad way for shebab to get around on a weekend to be honest, especially when it will take a fraction of the time, just leave one friends car or driver in one end of the city and another at the other
3) Defeated by his own argument BURN!
I will give it go if I am still here. Anything that gets me off the roads is worth a try.
Honestly, as a Qatari, i cant wait till the metro is finished. then i wouldnt have to drive with the crazy drivers FROM ALL NATIONALITIES. somehow i feel like every comment you make is a racist one towards Qataris or Arabs.
It is not racist but true fact. On the contrary your comment is racist, useless and make no sense. Btw you already proved his second point right. So it’s a fact. Atleast the crazy drivers and other nationalities will not have to fear for their life by the killer machine
Hey dummy, go see how many deaths are caused by truck drivers from your home country.
Careful now .. You’ll summon the trolls
I can’t wait until the metro is finished so I can ride it and get flashed by a LC at a distance of 1 m….
now you’re trying real hard to get laughs and up votes… you need to make your comments seem natural… not to desperate…
Encouraging stuff… One way to force people to use is make driving a car more expansive
Fair point, but vicariously anti-expat?
A congestion charge may help to alleviate the problem but, it is an inescapable fact that the only subjects of a monetary penalty would be those least able to pay, inversely proportional to the culprits. Many drivers, outside of the work rush-hour(s), are idling their time driving, for lack of anything else to do?
Is that not the true reality?
And make that charge related to the engine size/size of the car.
The environmental aspects is never draw card for any population, conveience and cost is. At the moment it’s permissable to drive your TLC, park it on top of the anti parking sidewalk humpy next to the red government TLC and drive the wrong way up the one way street infront of the Environment Ministry at 2pm knock off time.
Why would I take public transport if I have a car? Public transport is absolutely a headache. Crowding in a tube with people is no fun, especially when people don’t have the best hygiene. And I’m saying this as someone who has taken subways and buses for a good portion of my life.
2019? let’s see…
At least provide multilevel parking for stations outside of the city limit.
I am eager to be able to use light rail and metro lines to get about Doha more easily than fighting my way through 2.5 hours of traffic each day to get to work. Sure I could live in West Bay where my job is, but then the SEC and lack of central planning committees determined that the best place for the schools for our children should be all in one area on the other end of town. So its better that I risk my life each ay braving the Doha roads than the kids. Proper zoning and planning would likely have a bigger effect on the traffic congestion, but the nagging problem of infrastructure will not be cured by that alone. So yes, the metro will be a welcome option. Generally speaking I try to use public transport options that are available in most places I go, as when done properly it is the best and most efficient way to get around with the added bonus of not having to deal with parking. Its interesting looking into the arguments around public transport and the ideas of its success or failure based on assumptions. Detroit for example has the people mover. Its a single loop track in downtown that goes to really nowhere at all, and so is rarely used. In Salt Lake City however, people made the same arguments that Americans in the west would never give up their cars, yet the lines are all full and the system constantly is under expansion to meet demand. In LA the metro system is used but not to the extent that Washington DC or NYC is, and in London the tube is still the best way to get around, as is the Paris Metro. The trains in Dubai are clean and efficient, and in Germany – the entire country basically – the train is the best form of transport bar none. I think that the relatively small size of Qatar will make the Qatar rail a very effective and widely used form of transportation. Whether people believe they are above it or need to ride it for the sake of the environment will no discourage the use of such as system, as those people will not represent the majority of riders.
Forward thinking and hopefully a great success. Shame I won’t be here to use it. Some strange troll comments below. I see, hear and read so much in Qatar that makes me mad but I do try to keep my criticism rational in the hope that it might strike a chord with someone somewhere with influence.
Having worked on the light rail system project in Ireland for 4 years, it too had it’s disparagers. Being an over land system it created awful traffic. Now it moves 80k people a day. It’s an excellent system and a viable alternative to the car.
But 2019 is ambitious considering Qatar’s track record on completing projects on time!
Is it the gold stripe or does that train really look like a landcruiser?