With the new Metro system up and running in Qatar, I thought it was about time to try it out. When I moved here 3+ years ago, there wasn’t an established transportation system but the country had began building one. Roads and roundabouts were slowly closing in preparation for the new metro and in conjunction with the 2022 World Cup stadiums being built all over. The Metro is a component of the larger Rail System being built. The transit system became operational in May. The Red, Blue and Gold lines are now open and operating.
We decided to take the metro from our residence to the Flower Festival in Souq Waqif. A major convenience to the metro is it’s MetroLink. It is a free service feeder bus that runs daily and provides first and last mile connectivity to Qatar Rail customers within a 2-5 km radius of the Doha metro stations- https://www.qr.com.qa/metrolink. This is the website where you can find out times, locations and schedules for the Metrolink.
We live in Barwa City and there are a few Metrolink bus stops within our community. We only had to walk about 2 minutes to the nearest stop and it was on time.
The Metrolink took us to the Free Zone station which is between Al-Thumama and Al Wakrah. Once there we were able to purchase our tickets. A single standard ticket cost 2 riyals about $0.55 usd; a day pass cost 6 riyals=$1.60 usd, which is a hell of lot cheaper than a day pass on Septa in Philly which will set you back $9.00 usd.
When you enter the station at the Free Zone, there is a vending machine and map. You have to take an escalator or elevator upstairs, then walk across the bridge that takes you over the highway, then walk back down another escalator to purchase your ticket. Once the ticket is purchased, you go back up another escalator and walk to the train door. Seems like a lot of up and down, up and down, so it’s a good idea to plan ahead for this extra time that will be spent just getting to the train. Fortunately the trains run pretty regularly and there are signs, maps and assistants all over to help.
We had to take the Metro Red Line to Msheireb Interchange station where we transferred to the Gold Line and got off at the Souq. Of course you have to do some more up, down walking to actually get to the Souq. There are several exits that take you up to the Souq but I think we walked out of the wrong one.
After about 45 minutes, from our home in Barwa, we made it to the flower festival.
Last words about the Metro:
It is clean.
Timely, however give yourself a few extra minutes to account for the extra walking.
Official Website https://www.qr.com.qa/home
There is an app for that
There are three different sections on the train cars: standard and family class- cost the same, Gold club (a single journey cost 10 riyals and a day pass cost 30 riyals)
The train cars are small and can get crowded. If you can afford it opt for the gold club to avoid crowds and guarantee yourself a good seat-in the front of the train with a conductors view, private and enclosed.
Please watch your kids.
Stand clear of the doors and let people off of the train before you try to rush on.
Get onto the train quickly as the doors do not wait and will try to crush you.
Clean up behind yourself.
Be careful if you are wearing a thobe or abaya or any other long clothing so that your clothes do not get caught in the escalator or metro doors.