Since the Doha Metro flagged off on its historic journey last week, social media accounts of the Indian community, like those of other expatriates, has been buzzing with excitement about Qatar’s much awaited transportation network.
Even though the Ministry of Transportation and Communication had announced the opening of Metro two days in advance, the general public was eagerly awaiting the details of the inaugural journey, the timing, ticketing etc. Thereafter, immediately after the first Metro train unrolled on its debut journey at 8am on May 8, the social media pages of Indian community members became flooed with Metro photos. As the flow of public to the Metro stations begun pouring in thick and fast, so did the videos and photos on social media.
Six years in the making, Qatar’s first-ever underground railway system opened on Wednesday, May 8, running along the coast from Al Qassar district in the capital Doha to the southern city of Al Wakra.
Thirteen out of the 18 stations on the 40-kilometre Red Line route, connecting Al Wakra to Lusail city in the north, are currently operational.
Active on social media and a YouTube content creator by profession, Lubna Jeffin Kakkassery, who travelled in the Metro on its second trip from Ras Bu Fontas on the opening day, had this to say: “Our 10-minute video on Metro was shared by more than 10,000 people within four hours. The well narrated video content with essential information about the operation and services of the Metro, has been watched by nearly 50,000 people from all across the world within five days.”
Speaking to Qatar Tribune, an employee of Metro at Al Wakra said, “The number of riders who arrived to enjoy their first metro-ride has steadily increased. Excited about the state-of-the-art facilities of Metro, commuters captured their debut journey to share with their friends on social media in Qatar and abroad.”
An Indian community member active on Facebook said, “I have uploaded more than 25 photos taken from my first journey. The response to the photos has been quite thrilling and is still attracting attention after four days.”
Qatar is aiming to run 75 trains, complete 37 stations and two more lines – Green and Gold – by the year 2020. Travelling at a speed of 80 to 100 km/hour, the state-of-the-art, driver-less trains imported from Japan are divided into three compartments – Standard Class, Family Section and Gold Club. Each train with capacity of seating 130 people, has a total occupancy of about 416. The total travel time from Al Qassar to Al Wakra is approximately 35 minutes.
“I had never travelled in a metro train before. So, I was so excited. I took two journeys on the opening day, alone in morning and with family in evening. The photos posted on my Facebook page was visited and commented by a large number of friends and family members,” Indrajith Kumar, an Indian expatriate, said.
Husain Ahmed, another Indian expatriate and resident of Ezdan Village at Al Wakra who travels from Al Wakra to Westbay every day by taxi said, “I was waiting for Metro to make my journey comfortable and reduce the expense. Now, I have Metro feeder bus service from my residential area. I am getting lots of enquiries from friends who want to know more about the timing and travel time of Metro after I posted my first experience of Metro on Facebook.”
Qatar Metro is one of the mega projects of Qatar and is a new mode for transport in the country. A single journey in the standard compartment costs QR2, while a ride in the Gold Club section costs QR10. Construction for the Doha Metro started in 2013 and was carried out amid the blockade imposed on Qatar by some neighbouring countries.

 

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