As this year’s GCC Traffic Week draws to a close, Qatar Rail celebrates its successful participation, while considering recent research results which show that Doha’s population regards the Metro project as a the best solution to traffic congestion in Qatar. With road safety and continued effort to reduce road accidents being a key priority for the country, the landmark project will play a major role in relieving congestion and will make Doha’s roads safer.
The research, carried out by international research company Ipsos Mori, was commissioned by Qatar Rail to find out more about the public’s expectation of the new system and the service standards which they anticipate.
Part of this in-depth research looked at the general public’s perception of the integrated railway system which includes Doha Metro, Lusail Light Rail Transit and Long Distance Passenger and Freight. Two thirds of those who took part in the survey said that they believed that everyone will use Metro once the service is launched. Importantly, the research showed that many people in Doha regard traffic as a major problem and perceive these projects as an important and viable solution. In fact 63% of respondents believe that Metro would be a great way to avoid traffic in the city. They cited the perceived benefits of using rail as ‘time and speed’, ‘traffic reduction’, ‘convenience’ and ‘affordability’.
Qatar Rail chief executive officer Dr Eng Saad Al Muhannadi commented:
It’s often hard to plan your life and work when journey times are unpredictable due to lots of traffic which creates stress for people. Once completed, Doha Metro will provide a convenient and reliable alternative for people to get around the city with ease, meaning that traffic will be reduced and our roads will be safer.’
At present almost everyone in Qatar owns at least one car, with many families having as many as three or even four. Cars are by far the main means of getting around and their numbers are expected to continue to grow by up to 15% per year. As the country’s roads get more congested, the number of traffic related accidents can also be expected to increase.
Al Muhannadi said:
As Qatar’s population is predicted to increase to 3.6 million by 2030, so too will the number of vehicles on a limited road capacity. We need a sustainable transportation solution that encourages people to make the shift from using their cars as their primary mode transport. Doha Metro will offer the entire population of the city a great alternative which will make getting round so much easier and stress free. By doing so it is expected that the number of kilometres driven by car will reduced by 2 million in 2021. That’s a huge number which translates to real improvements in people’s everyday lives.’
He went on to say that one of the reasons it is expected that people will feel compelled to make the shift from car to metro are the significantly shorter journey times. For example the distance from Msheireb area to Al Rayyan Stadium is estimated at 39 minutes by car, compared to 23.5 minutes by metro– that’s enough energy to light a lamp for 850 hours. From Msheireb Station, at the heart of the city, to West Bay which is an approximate journey of 4.6km, travel time will be reduced from 20 minutes by car to 5 minutes by Metro. Hamad Airport to Msheireb Station, a 14km journey will fall by 50% travel time.
Al Muhannadi concluded:
We are proud of our project. Proud and excited by the many benefits it will provide to our nation. As annual supporters of Traffic Week, we are well aware of the need and importance to raise awareness about road safety, and we are working diligently to provide a state of the art solution that would contribute to that.’
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