The Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning announced further improvements to the West Bay Bus free service which is a new project it has launched in January of this year.

The Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning has announced its plan to provide air-conditioned bus shelters to make sure the service is as convenient as possible in view of the approaching high temperature during the summer season. The Ministry is also providing Park and Ride sites around the West Bay and Corniche areas to provide car drivers commuting to the West Bay district with the option to park their cars conveniently and get to their destination by bus rather than search for already scarce parking. These park and ride sites are expected to be especially beneficial during traffic peak hours. One of the Park and Ride sites will be located next to the General Post Office and the second one in West Bay between the ASAS and the Beach Towers. The Ministry is also studying the introduction of new routes and bus stops to increase accessibility of and to the West Bay Bus.

Director of the Doha Municipality, Mohamed Al Sayyed, said:

We need to recognise the time needed for such new projects to start showing tangible results and changes to the city and we certainly cannot ignore the mind-set we are faced with about the use of buses in specific and public transport in general by Doha citizens. Experience in other countries has shown that it can take many years to achieve a sustainable shift in people’s travel preferences. We are conscious of this and don’t expect results overnight. The Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning will therefore be constantly supporting infrastructure developments in order to meet the travel demand over the long term and help achieve sustainable development to the state of Qatar. It is our aim to also effectively encourage the public to use the West Bay bus and to allow its users to recognize its benefits.’

The West Bay bus ridership has been growing at a slow but steady rate. Ridership has increased at an average rate of 63% from the launch of the service. This complimentary and safe transport facility is proving to be attractive to many who have found it more convenient than driving and friendlier to the environment. The service also continues to receive heightened interest and feedback from residents and visitors of the West Bay district on social media and other communication platforms from riders who have tried and enjoyed this new service offered to them free of charge.

As with any new project, the service will require more time to be able to provide the expected results. This service was launched jointly by the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning and the Ministry of Transport which are both constantly looking into ways of developing the service and boosting its ridership.

The West Bay Bus is one of several initiatives that the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning is developing to enhance the accessibility and attractiveness of key areas of the city and improve quality of life in Doha.

Al Sayyed, said:

We are also constantly seeking the customers’ feedback to help us develop the service and meet the public demand. We have therefore installed comment boxes and forms on the bus and we encourage everyone to try the bus and give us their feedback. We also see an increase in the number of followers of the West Bay Bus Facebook and social media pages and we are currently looking into the next phase of marketing to raise the public awareness as well as expand the reach of the service information to all its potential users.’

The West Bay Bus is aimed at connecting various destinations, businesses, office towers, malls, residencies and hotels in West Bay. The new service provides a premium service to the passengers and better connectivity for residents, visitors and commuters travelling to or around the West Bay area.

The service offers 14 buses, available seven days a week running every 15 minutes between 6 am and 12 am (midnight) and stopping at 36 bus stops spread around the West Bay area. The bus covers two routes. The first route links West Bay with City Centre, the Corniche and the General Post Office whilst the second route will link West Bay with City Centre, Al Bidda Street and the Tennis Stadium. On both routes, the bus will stop at all major hotels, offices and residential towers in West Bay. Customers visiting or staying at any of the hotels serviced by the West Bay Bus will certainly enjoy this new 5 stars service.

All the information about the service including the route map can be found on the West Bay Bus Facebook page, at the Ministry of Municipality and Urban planning website or Mowasalat’s website. Pocket maps are available in City Center and the Gate Mall as well as in any of the hotels serviced by the bus in the West Bay area such as the W hotel, the Four Seasons Hotel; Hilton Hotel; Retaj Al Rayyan; Movenpick Hotel; Ezdan Hotel and Ascot Hotel. The service is offered to all members of the public and no ticket or payment is required.