Doha Metro gets thumbs up from public

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The Doha Metro Red Line South’s two days of operation has received a positive response from a large number of commuters, who unanimously described it as a fast, reliable and convenient mode of transportation.

A total of 86,487 passengers travelled on Doha Metro during the first two days of its launch, Doha Metro tweeted on Friday. If 37,451 people took the Metro on the launch day, the number went up to 49,036 the next day.

“Just imagine it only took me 15 minutes to reach the DECC station at West Bay from the Al Matar Al Qadeem station.

Usually it takes about an hour by car in the morning,” said Filipino expatriate Mylin, who was among the many residents who tried the metro since its soft opening on May 8.

She added: “It means there is time for some light exercise, and I now have more time for breakfast with the family, it’s indeed a game-changer.”

The Red Line initial operation for the public extends from Al Qassar (near The St Regis Doha and behind the old Doha Exhibition Centre) to Al Wakra.

The service is open from Sunday to Thursday, between 8am and 11pm and takes a break during the weekends “to progress the work required to open more stations and lines.”

Like Mylin, Indian expatriate Anita who also works in Qatar’s business district said the Doha Metro’s opening benefited her a lot.

“No need to rush in the morning, the Umm Ghuwailina station is just a few minutes away from our flat, and from there it takes less than 15 minutes to reach the West Bay (QIC) station,” she said. “I also don’t need to take my car and look for parking slots, which is also time consuming.”

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Now spared from driving, Anita said she also finds time to read the news online while travelling on the metro.

“I feel so relaxed and comfortable, it’s stress-free and I think it will take a long time before I visit a petrol station again,” she added.

The first phase of the Red Line covers 13 of its 18 stations, including Al Qassar, DECC, QIC West Bay, Corniche, Al Bidda (Interchange station), Msheireb (Interchange station), Al Doha Al Jadeda, Umm Ghuwailina, Al Matar Al Qadeem, Oqba Ibn Nafie, Free Zone, Ras Bu Fontas and Al Wakra.

This Line will soon open other stations such as Katara, Legtaifiya, Qatar University and Lusail.

It runs for 40km from Al Wakra (South) to Lusail (North), and connects Hamad International Airport (not yet open) at Terminal 1 to the centre of Doha.

Meanwhile, for the health conscious, the metro can be a good opportunity to exercise regularly, especially during the summer, given the many flights of stairs at each station.

“I don’t use the escalators or the elevators when using the metro. It’s my chance to burn more calories indoor,” said British expatriate Cameron, who often visit different malls to walk at least for an hour.

He lives in the East Al Hilal area.

In the winter, he plans to use his folding bike and cycle from home to the station.“After work, I can get my folding bike from Al Matar Al Qadeem and go to Al Bidda and Lusail for a bike ride, anyway it will only cost me QR6 for a day pass (unlimited),” he pointed out.

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According to Qatar Rail, folding bikes, wheelchairs, and motorised wheelchairs will be permitted inside the trains except for mobility scooter, hover-board or any motorised transport. Courtesy:GulfTimes