The popularity of Doha Metro was once again visible on the Qatar National Day as record number of residents used metro trains on Wednesday to enjoy National Day celebrations. Braving cold weather and intermittent drizzles, over 333,000 passengers used Doha Metro network to reach different destinations holding Qatar National Day celebrations.
The crowd was expected as it was the first National Day after the start of preview services of all the three lines- Red Line, Gold Line and Green Line- of Doha Metro network.
Anticipating huge rush of passengers, Qatar Rail was all geared up to face the challenge with special arrangements in place. The rush was visible on metro stations since early morning, giving a glimpse of huge rush expected to follow throughout the day.
Passengers began to reach metro stations at 6.30am to reach Doha Corniche, which was the venue for National Day Parade. Many residents used metrolink service to reach stations. There were long queues for tickets at the stations but the passengers with travel cards evaded the queues. But, there was no escape from the crowd inside the trains. Only few passengers were lucky enough to get the seats while others had to complete the journey standing.
Most of the passengers were headed to Souq Waqif or DECC stations to watch National Day Parade. Access to Al Bidda, Corniche and West Bay QIC stations was restricted between 6:00am and 12:00pm on Wednesday. Qatar Rail staff was seen going extra-mile to help and guide passengers to reach their destinations.
For many passengers, Doha Metro became an important reason to attend the National Day Parade. “Parade is a big attraction of Qatar National Day celebrations, but reaching the venue by car is not an easy task because of heavy traffic. I have missed parade in the past few years, but this year I decided to watch it from the Corniche. I reached the Corniche on time because of Doha Metro. Reaching corniche was convenient and did not take much time,” said Leena Ghosh, who took morning train from Wakra Station with her group of friends to watch the parade.
With the newly opened Katara station, a large number of visitors even from as far as Al Wakrah were able to attend various cultural shows and activities organised by Katara in partnership with different entities. Many of the visitors who took the metro expressed how satisfied they were of the service reaching Katara conveniently to attend the National Day celebrations compared to previous years.