MOTC Announces Measures of Lifting Curbs on Public Transit System as Phase 4 Begins

Saturday, August 29, 2020
MOTC Announces Measures of Lifting Curbs on Public Transit System as Phase 4 Begins

Doha – Qatar

As Qatar continues its precautionary measures to ensure wellbeing and safety of citizens and residents against the Coronavirus COVID-19, the Ministry of Transport and Communications has announced measures of resuming public transit services within the first part of Phase 4 of the gradual lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.

Operators of public transit (buses and metro) can resume service at 30% capacity as of Sept. 1. Service hours will be the same as they were before the service suspension while the situation will be assessed on a weekly basis.

MOTC stresses the need for all operators of public transit to comply with the precautionary measures set by the Ministry of Public Health, run a COVID-19 test for all those who work on the public transit system and stations and ensure a negative result before allowing them to go back to work. Those measures also include checking their temperatures daily and continuously, isolating those who exhibit disease symptoms and contacting the bodies concerned for any necessary precautionary and health measures. Operators will be also training their staff in applying such precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

MOTC also stressed that operators need to provide “compliance officers” according to the capacity determined on public transit (buses, metro and stations). Those officers will be responsible for ensuring compliance to all precautionary measures and that they are being followed by public transit users who must avoid crowding in front of the stations. It is also necessary for operators to coordinate effectively and directly with service and vital public utilities associated with metro and bus stations such as the airport, shopping malls, hospitals and bazaars. The aim is to make sure public transit customers do not crowd at these stations and do follow all precautionary measures, in addition to regulating the entry and exit of those who frequent the stations, the metro and the buses, particularly the metro stations with limited capacity.   

MOTC also stresses the need for all public transit service operators to put emergency plans for managing and monitoring the transportation system users and to take the necessary measures to limit and control the crowding, in collaboration with bodied concerned.

MOTC will also constantly work with the operators to develop the necessary plans and awareness campaigns to protect those who are most vulnerable such as the elderly and pregnant women with chronic diseases to urge them not to use the public transit system.

The Ministry also urges the operators to encourage users of public transit system to book their ride tickets online, ban all workers and public transit customers from eating or drinking at the utilities, stations and on transportation modes, ban smoking at the entrances of metro and bus stations and remove all ash receptacles. Operators are also requested to ensure all surfaces at stations and public transit system are sterilized continuously and regularly, hand sanitizers are available everywhere while avoid putting them at open spaces such as bus stops, safe social distance footmarks are placed on floors and similar stickers on seats, in addition to receiving customers at a capacity not exceeding the particular occupancy percentage during the current period, which is 30% of the full capacity.

Additionally, MOTC stresses the need for public transit operators to allow the public to use the system only after checking their health status on the EHTERAZ App. Entry will be limited only to those with EHTERAZ health status “Green”. People wearing no facemasks will be denied entry. Temperatures must be checked. Those with temperatures higher than 38 will be denied entry to stations and public transportation system.

MOTC confirms these instructions are updatable and modifiable according to the situation on the ground. The Ministry will also conduct inspection campaigns on public transit system and stations to ensure correct and full compliance to all back-to-business precautions.

MOTC urges the public and public transit workers to follow all precautionary guidance and measures for the safety and wellbeing of everyone. Ministry says every phase of the gradual lifting plan could not succeed without everyone’s compliance to the recommended preventive and precautionary measures.

MOTC receives complaints and suggestions via email, its social media accounts, its MOTC mobile application that’s available for iOS and Android.