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JustHere | November 15, 2017

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Qatar to have 2,000 public buses by 2020; 233 railway lines by 2030

[Photo courtesy: Khalid Albaih via Flickr]

The Transport Ministry has announced that about 2,000 public transport buses will be in service by 2020 in Qatar.

This is part of a five-year plan starting from next year to improve the public transport scene in the country, the Gulf Times has reported.

Other projects in the pipeline include:

  • 2,500 kilometres of Expressways to be built by 2030
  • 84 kilometres of railway lines to be laid and 38 stations built as part of the  Doha Metro network by 2019
  • 233 kilometres of railway lines, covering 96 stations to be laid by 2030.
Public buses

Currently, public buses in Qatar are operated by Mowasalat. There are plans to introduce 150 new buses in the coming few months, increasing the total number of buses to 300. Early this year, the West Bay Bus service was launched by the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning and the Ministry of Transport, to provide free shuttle service for residents in West Bay only. Read our earlier report here.

If you are new to the public bus service in Qatar, read the box below.

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Here’s what you need to know about Mowasalat buses:

  • They service over 35 routes in Qatar for a minimal fare of QR3 (or QR2.50 if you have a Karwa Smart Card Classic) but if you do decide to travel by them, be forewarned, it will take you a fair amount of time to reach your destination because they travel only along the set routes
  • The map of the various buses and their routes is on the Mowasalat website
  • Board the bus at a bus stop or you can even flag a bus down along the inter-city highways
  • You can either buy a ticket on the bus itself (you will need to have change with you) or purchase a smart card from one of the many designated stores across Qatar
  • If you decide to travel with a Smart Card, remember to swipe it when you get onto the bus and again when you get off
  • This is the cheapest mode of public transport and is usually used by blue collar employees
  • If you are a single woman, the experience can prove to be quite an uncomfortable one because this mode of transport is usually used by men
  • The seats just behind the driver are usually implicitly reserved for women and children

Smart Cards: There are 3 different kinds of Smart Cards available in every bus and designated stores across Qatar. But it’s nowhere comprehensive enough to be considered trading in your personal vehicle for it.

Type of Card




Smart Card 24 (Limited)


  • To be used within 24 hours upon first use in a bus
  • Ride up to 2 times within Greater Doha


Smart Card 24 (Unlimited)


  • To be used within 24 hours upon first use in a bus
  • Unlimited rides in all zones


Smart Card Classic


(Instant use of QR 20 and the remaining QR10 will be activated upon accumulative recharge of QR300)

  • Rechargeable in denominations of QR10 to QR100
  • Card is valid for 180 days from last use
  • Minimum fare is QR2.50 per ride
  • Use Tap in/Tap out for maximum savings




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