Qatar’s colorful double-decker tourist bus company has introduced a new route running between City Center Mall and Education City, via the Abdul Wahhab (State) Mosque and the Qatar National Convention Center.
The new hop-on hop-off service added the route earlier this month, according to a spokesperson for Doha Bus.
Buses on the new route will leave both Education City and City Center at 9am and run every 1.5 hours until approximately 2:30pm.
Heavy traffic means the service will be halted in the late afternoon until 5pm, when there will be a departure from Education City and a final roundtrip from City Center.
Inside Education City, stops are located at the Marwan Club, the Arab Museum of Modern Art (Mathaf) and the HBKU Student Center.
In a statement, Doha Bus CEO Khalid Al Suwaidi said:
“Education City to us is more than a landmark, it is an international destination. (Making) this destination more accessible to the masses will offer a new perspective of our city to the visitors and residents of Qatar.”
However, there is no separate fare for those only headed to Education City or QNCC.
Instead, passengers must buy either a 24-hour or 48-hour ticket, which costs QR162 and QR202, respectively, for adults. Lower prices are available for children, families and large groups.
Currently, public transportation to the Education City area and beyond is limited. According to a Mowasalat network map, only route 56 runs along Al Luqta Street, between the QNCC and Education City, in one direction on its return trip to Al Ghanim Station near Souq Waqif.
This means that passengers headed to the area would have to ride the bus from central Doha as it loops around Al Gharafa before reaching their destination.
And taxis generally don’t queue at the QNCC unless the organizers of an event requests Mowasalat to station vehicles.
However, transportation connects to the area are set to improve in late 2019, when the Doha Metro enters operations.
Separately, Education City is working on its own 11.5km campus rail network. The first vehicles were scheduled to be delivered last summer and enter testing this year before entering service in fall 2016.
The hop-on hop-off bus concept, which is popular in many popular tourist cities around the world, arrived in Qatar in 2012 with the launch of Doha Bus.
Sales and marketing manager Fadel Mansour told Doha News at the time that the company hoped to target Qatar Airways passengers who had long layovers by running shuttles between the airport and the first Doha Bus stop.
Its first route travels along the Corniche, stopping at the Museum of Islamic Art, Souq Waqif and other attractions, before heading north to Katara and the Pearl-Qatar.
While some residents say they have seen the buses driving around town mostly empty, Mansour said today that they carried more than 20,000 passengers last year, including those on group tours.