With Doha Metroâ€™s standard carriages starting to become crowded, especially during peak hours, the number of passengers opting for the Goldclub travel pass is on the rise.
â€œI want to be seated comfortably while listening to music on my way to work in the morning and going home in the evening, so I bought a Goldclub card though I already have a standard card,â€ said Ali, an Egyptian expatriate in Doha.
A resident of Al Hilal area, he takes the train in the morning from Al Matar Al Qadeem station to DECC station at West Bay and returns in the evening through the same route. The Red Lineâ€™s 13 stations include Al Qassar, DECC, QIC West Bay, Corniche, Al Bidda, Msheireb, Al Doha Al Jadeda, Umm Ghuwailina, Al Matar Al Qadeem, Oqba Ibn Nafie, Economic Zone, Ras Bu Fontas, and Al Wakra. The stations to be opened soon are Lusail, Qatar University, Legtaifiya, and Katara.
Three types of travel cards can be used to ride the Metro-Standard Travel, Goldclub and Limited Use, according to Qatar Rail. Goldclub cards are available at Goldclub offices at the Metro stations. Rides cost QR10 a single journey and QR30 for day pass. Goldclub has larger and more comfortable seats than Standard. The fee for acquiring a Goldclub card is QR100 (valid for five years from the date of purchase); credits for travel have to be added on to these cards.
While children aged below five travel for free, each passenger five and above must have their own travel card. Other passengers echo Aliâ€™s view saying that it is also an advantage to have the Goldclub pass, particularly if one uses the metro regularly. â€œMy wife and I decided to get a Goldclub card since we visit Carrefour at City Center Doha almost every week to buy groceries,â€ Filipino expatriate Benjie M said.
â€œThe other day after work (West Bay), we went to Carrefour and came out holding several plastic bags,â€ he recounted. â€œWe rode the train at peak time, it was crowded, so we had to endure standing all along up to Umm Ghuwailina station.â€
A number of Doha Metro employees said that many commuters bought Goldclub cards immediately after the soft opening on May 8. â€œSince then, we saw an increasing demand for the Goldclub pass from families, groups of friends, and individuals,â€ a staffer noted. About ticket pricing, Qatar Rail said it conducted comprehensive and integrated pricing studies, and introduced several categories to make tickets accessible and affordable to all and available via multiple sales channels.
While warm weather has no effect on how a travel card works, Qatar Rail warns that long exposure to extreme temperatures or direct sunlight such as leaving it on a parked car dashboard may damage the card. Some regular metro passengers said the Goldclub card, which is expensive than the Standard card, can be a better and cheaper option when needed such as going to and fro the Hamad International Airport (soon to open connection via the the Red Line).
According to Qatar Rail, each metro passenger will only be permitted to carry two luggage (excluding small bags) on the train, and each must be not be larger than 85cm x 60cm x 30cm in size. Travelling with these large items, including push chairs or wheelchairs, they must only use lifts (or elevators). â€œWe may refuse your entry if we consider your luggage is too large or unsafe to be permitted onto the networks or any vehicle,â€ Qatar Rail said on its website.