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Sunday, June 20, 2021

Qatar’s Mowasalat to improve safety at main bus terminal in Old Ghanim

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Mowasalat Old Ghanim bus station
Mowasalat Old Ghanim bus station

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.”

December's deadly accident.
December’s deadly accident.

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.

Passengers milling about the station have also been injured in two other incidents, in August 2013 and more recently in March 2015, after being knocked over by out-of-control buses.

After each incident, Mowasalat added additional concrete barriers to the station to separate and protect pedestrian traffic from buses.

New measures

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.

Construction at bus station.
Construction at bus station.

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.

Old Ghanim bus station
Old Ghanim bus station

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.

Thoughts?

12 COMMENTS

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johnny wang
johnny wang
6 years ago

The bus station and its services are a big JOKE on the local commuters. Just imagine city buses running at only one hour intervals and passengers waiting in the heat for one hour and more for their bus to come along. Mowasalat does not listen to any suggestions on how to improve their services and their bus timings for the mutual benefit of themselves and the travelers. Just this evening there were so many passengers waiting for buses and the buses came at this one hour intervals which forced the passengers to go in the illegal private taxis which are abundant right next to the bus stand. Perhaps the bus transport operators and the private illegal taxi operators next to the bus stand are all in league to abuse and harass the passengers and extort extra money from them. You have to actually take one look at the Mowasalat bus stand on a Thursday or Friday evening to see the mess it is in and how the helpless travelers put up with this drama

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  johnny wang

No one in or with power in Qatar cares for the buses or passengers there in…they are just the slaves let them wait or walk…..

Simon
Simon
6 years ago
Reply to  johnny wang

Just imagine a bus station where vehicles and pedestrians were actually physically separated, so that the two could not ‘mix’. We can dream.

sadam
sadam
6 years ago
Reply to  johnny wang

johhny wang. Get your facts right before you rant nonsense. First of, waiting for 1 HOUR interval is a blessing, because there are routes where Bus trips are cancelled, therefore you’ll have to be waiting 2+ Hours in the blistering heat, then you’ll have to travel for at least another 45 minutes because of the traffic,, but it is only a 10 minutes travel distance if you have a car of your own.

Source: I am a Bus commuter myself.

johnny wang
johnny wang
6 years ago
Reply to  sadam

Would it not be the right thing to hand the service to some other reputed and experienced transport company who could make a better job of operating this services. Just because some routes are cancelled, it does not mean passengers have to wait all day for their bus to come along

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

A bus spokesmen Billy al Unbelievable said

“we’ve taken this seriously and after much mulling we’ve imposed strict targets on the station supervisor. Zero accidents for Qataris and Westerners as they give the most bad publicity and only, and I’m prob of this just 10 indian deaths, 5 Nepalese, 3 Pakistani and just a sprinkle of Africans. These are some of the toughest regulations you will find anywhere in Qatar.”

Daniel Schriefer
Daniel Schriefer
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Well said.

sicti
sicti
6 years ago

Mowa Salad is preparing for war or decent public transportation? Concrete walls? Barriers? Why not some rocket launchers to stop out-of-control buses?…But how about some skilled drivers? Or decent conditions for them, to be mentally healthy?

johnny wang
johnny wang
6 years ago

Where in the world do city buses run at one hour intervals and passengers are made to wait at the station or by the roadside bus stops just because the next bus is only after one hour or longer. If this is the state of the transportation system in the city out here the situation in the outskirts must be a lot worse. A look at the timetable prominiently displayed at the bus stand clearly shows the sad state of affairs where the timings of the buses are concerned

Daniel Schriefer
Daniel Schriefer
6 years ago

In a developed country public transportation is a service citizens can expect because they pay taxes. In Qatar it’s a present. You don’t argue about presents, don’t you?

saifupk
saifupk
6 years ago

why can’t they build new bus station building with safe masurment???

irobot
irobot
6 years ago

As a commuter for the past 4 years I can surely say the bus service is a joke. The bustop is right outside my accomadation but I dont use it unless I have no other choice or if I just want to kill time. They never come on time, the wait between buses is way too long, there are no shaded stands which makes it near impossible to use the service during summer, the bus route takes forever ex: from my residence it takes takes 20mnts in the bus to The Mall believe it or not the same amount of time it would take me to walk there. The biggest joke being that even the Central bus depot at Al Ghanim is not enclosed with hundreds of pax having to bake in the summer heat, inhaling dust waiting for the next bus, which is never on time.

As many have pointed any real effort to revamping this service would be if locals start using it, which unfortunately will be never ..

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