The water taxis are set to be fully rolled out by 2030 as Doha pushes ahead with its green agenda.
Streets are too busy? People in Doha will soon be able to take a water taxi around coastal areas ahead of according to new information from the Ministry of Transport.
Authorities announced that they will be testing water taxis in 2022 to determine their efficiency and potentially let them operate in coastal areas such as Al Matar, Lusail, and Dafna.
“The water taxi will be tested in 2022 as our goals are to meet Qatar National Vision 2030,” said Minister of Transport H E Jassim Saif Ahmed Al Sulaiti.
Speaking to Qatar TV, the minister added that the latest initiative aims to provide an alternative mode of transportation for the public, in addition to the Doha Metro and buses. This will compliment the country’s public transportation system and help provide an easy and unique way of moving around, especially during rush hours.
However, the official did not specify the exact date of the testing, but the new transportation method is expected to be fully implemented within the coming years.
Meanwhile, the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)—a type of bus that carries the specifications of a tram or a train—has been successfully tested in recent months.
The ‘green’ bus is expected to be used during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 which authorities have said they hope will be a carbon neutral event, the hybrid busses will be used to transport passengers to venues outside of Doha such as Al Bait Stadium and areas like as Mesaieed and Dukhan.
“FIFA Arab Cup Qatar was an important experiment to test the efficiency of the transport system, as 200 electric-powered buses were used during the tournament,” the minister said.
Added to this, the first batch of fully electric buses will be deployed during the FIFA World Cup 2022 to serve fans attending the event.
This comes in line with the country’s plan to provide safe, reliable, and accessible transportation facilities during the tournament, with electric buses set to be used as the main mode of service during the much anticipated event.
Over the past few years, authorities in Qatar have been working towards transforming public transportation to full-electric, including public bus services, government school buses, and Doha Metro’s buses.
This aims to reduce harmful carbon emissions caused by conventional buses in less than a decade from now, in addition to achieving goals of environmental sustainability.
“The Ministry of Transportation launched the electric vehicle strategy to announce its exact specifications in coordination with all concerned authorities, whether it is the General Directorate of Traffic or the General Authority for Specifications and Standardisation,” Al Sulaiti said.
He added that the strategy aims to enhance sustainability by choosing European specifications for cars, buses, and diesel trucks, in addition to adopting the highest standards of environmental protection and international specifications.
“A total of 200 electric vehicle chargers will be installed at public places, headquarters of ministries and government agencies,” he said.
The country conducted a months-long test to evaluate the sustainable and high-tech electric minibusses, which can run without the need for a driver.
The buses are equipped with advanced technology to ensure full safety, including several radars, lidars, and high-tech cameras that allow the vehicle to recognise all surroundings and react accordingly when in motion.
This allows the bus to navigate the road safely, providing a high degree of visibility at up to 250m of range.
Over the next year, almost 25% of the public transit bus fleet in Qatar is expected to become electric, while by 2030, most of the buses and public transportation will gradually become electric.
An network of electric car chargers is also being integrated across the country in order to support the ministry’s plan to gradually transform the electric transport system.