The driverless metro of Doha – a smooth launch
Following an intensive 24-month preparation period, the three lines of Doha’ automated metro are now fully operational, offering residents and visitors easy access to business, commercial and tourism hubs. The red line (40 km long), for example, covers the cultural village of Katara, the bustling Souq, Doha’s popular Corniche and Hamad International Airport. The green line (22 km) connects the Qatar National Convention Centre, the Mall of Qatar, the Qatar National Library and Education City with the town's universities and modern hospitals. The Gold line (14 km) serves the iconic national museum, the Villagio Mall and the Aspire Zone sporting complex. Although the red line’s Legtaifiya station is operational, it will only open to the public in 2020 when the tram is launched.
The metro service runs from Sunday to Thursday (from 6am to 11pm) and on Friday (from 2pm to 11pm).
The automated and driverless metro network is equipped with Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) technology – a control system based on WiFi communication between vehicles and computers regulating traffic. The metro trainsets are mainly manufactured by MHI and the signalling is provided by Thales.
Thierry Couderc, Managing Director of RKH declared: “Today is a big day for both the people of Qatar and visitors who will be able to move around the city using a world-class public transport network featuring the most advanced technology. We have worked closely with Qatar Rail in the run-up to this opening to guarantee swift and safe journeys for our passengers. We will continue to do so with the aim of rapidly growing ridership on this comfortable and environmentally-friendly shared mobility solution.”
A tram network in Lusail, connected to Doha metro
The contract also covers operation and maintenance of four tram lines in Lusail, a new city located 15 km from Doha and due to become home to 200,000 residents. This tram network is made up of 18 km of track and features four lines equipped with 28 Alstom-built trams serving 25 stations (Vinci & partner JV construction, with Thales Systems), half of them underground. Lusail tram connects to the Doha Metro through two interchange stations at Lusail and Legtaifiya. It is scheduled to open in two phases in mid-2020.
Qatar’s first urban rail network
Today, RKH Qitarat employs 1,400 people of 33 different nationalities, speaking a range of different languages including Arabic, English, Hindi and Tagalog. During the metro network preparation period, RKH Qitarat also employed some 1,500 staff from subcontractors.
The metro and tram network constitute a major urban project of crucial importance for Doha and its surrounding suburbs which are home to some 2.6 million people accounting for 90% of the Qatari population.
Developing public transport is one of the priorities of ‘Qatar Vision 2030’, the strategic plan established in 2008, which has served as the government’s roadmap for economic, social and environmental development. Aiming to improve the quality of life for Doha’s residents and visitors and consolidate its reputation as a frontrunner smart city, Qatar has invested heavily in urban mobility and public transport in a bid to reduce serious congestion on its roads.
The network – key figures
- 3 automated metro lines over 76 km, 37 stations
- 4 tram lines over 18 km, 25 stations
- 1,400 employees
- 650,000 passengers expected on the metro network per day