As traffic congestion woes multiply, Qatar is seeking ways to keep an ever-increasing number of cars off the roads.
But officials at the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning said they have scrapped plans to install more pay for parking boxes in public places – for now.
“It is not feasible to implement the proposal until people have safe public transport options,” said Mohamed Abdah, director of the ministry’s Transportation and Infrastructure Planning Department, during an address at a transport summit yesterday, the Peninsula reports.
Over the last couple of years, Qatar saw pay-for-parking go up at Souq Waqif and City Center mall, both traffic hotspots.
Among the transportation options Qatar is looking into is a $42.6 billion GCC-wide railway project that is expected to be completed by 2017.
“The project is no more dream. It is going to be a reality,” Abdulaziz Al Ohaly, Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Minister of Transport and UITP MENA chairman said.
Other previously raised suggestions to ease traffic congestion in Qatar include building more parking garages, housing people closer to their workplaces and requiring news buildings to have an approved parking plan in place before construction.
Raising the price of gas is also on the table, the Peninsula reports.
Meanwhile, speaking at the same UITP MENA Public Transport and Large Events Summit, Mowasalat’s chairman said improving Qatar’s bus system is a critical way to “remove hurdles on roads.”
The company’s current fleet of 2,000 buses mainly serves Qatar’s working class population, but the attitude toward public transportation will have to change as the country’s population doubles over the next few decades, Jassim Saif al-Sulaiti said.
Mowasalat is currently conducting a feasibility study on a bus rapid transit system (RTS) in Qatar, with separate lanes for high capacity buses and pedestrian bridges.
Credit: Photo by Khalid Albaih