Five months after a bus crash that left four people dead, Qatar’s public transportation authority Mowasalat has announced that it is adding additional security and safety measures to the company’s main bus depot in Old Ghanim.
Responding to criticism from local media about decrepit conditions at the station, the company told Al Raya this week that it had “set a future plan for full development of the terminal after the completion of the infrastructure in Al Ghanim area.”
This is one of the first times the company has commented publicly about safety concerns at the station, where four people died in December after a bus driver lost control of his vehicle, crashing through concrete barriers and into a crowd of people.
After each incident, Mowasalat added additional concrete barriers to the station to separate and protect pedestrian traffic from buses.
But now, it is going beyond that by installing a different type of barrier, as well as gates to direct pedestrian traffic flow, a shift supervisor told Doha News this morning.
“Before, there was only one row of these movable concrete blocks. Now, we have these new (black and yellow) barriers that are concrete, reinforced with steel pipes, that go 1m into the ground. We have added an extra layer of movable concrete blocks behind (this new addition), and are planning on putting in gates,” he said.
Installation of the new permanent black and yellow concrete blocks began about three weeks ago. About 15 blocks are slated to be put up.
Gates are then expected to be installed perpendicular to the barriers to control the flow of foot traffic to the buses, and add an extra layer of protection for the passengers, the supervisor said.
For now, passengers appear unimpressed with the new plans. Several who spoke to Doha News today questioned the sturdiness of the new barriers.
“When the first accident happened, there were some (concrete) barriers, but the bus went through it. How do we know it won’t happen again?” one Nepali expat asked.
Another passenger who hails from India commended the move to narrow the access route from the bus shelter to the buses, but wondered how the new procedure would be reinforced.
“It’s good that they’re doing this, but how are they going to stop people from going around? People still do that even where they put up this new (barrier). There’s no police here to make sure that people stay back,” he said.
In its statement, Mowasalat also said it plans to add new bathroom facilities to the area.