Qataris can now take the subway in Doha after the first section of its new underground transport system was inaugurated on Wednesday, a futuristic metro that only costs 50 euro cents a trip, a bargain in the oil emirate.
At 8.00 am, thirteen of the eighteen red line stations opened their doors for travelers to ride for the first time a transport network for which the Qatari Government is set to pay $36,000 million.
Its opening has arrived a year ahead of schedule, as it was supposed to start working in 2020.
"Testing the system with passengers is an important phase that gives us the opportunity to review the performance and prepare the network," the state railway company Qatar Rail said.
The complete system will consist of 217 kilometers, which will make it the first railway network in the country.
The red line is set to be 40 km (25 miles) long when completed and will connect the stadiums for the Qatar 2022 World Cup of Al Wakrah and Lusail.
"It is an important strategic step, the Railway Company of Qatar has already started a previous service for the first part of the red line of the Doha subway, from Al Qassar, in the north, to Al Wakrah, in the south," the company said.
"The Doha metro is considered to be one of the most important pillars of Qatar's new integrated transport system," Qatar Rail chief of strategy and business development Ajlan Eid Al Enazi said.
Qatar is revolutionizing its transport network by opening a cheaper way to move around the country with driverless trains that will have free wifi and can reduce the estimated time of a journey by 50 percent, thus avoiding traffic during peak hours.
With a futuristic design, both inside and out, that looks like a spacecraft, the subway will reduce the environmental impact produced by cars in Qatar.
Train stations are also going to be connected with buses and taxis, with lower prices, so that it is easier for the passenger to get from the train to their destination.
In station surroundings, there will be designated sidewalks for both cyclists and pedestrians, a milestone in a country that is designed to go by car.
The joint metropolitan network will have red, green and gold lines with 37 stations initially.
The network is expected to expand in the future and will include an additional line, reaching up to 60 stations by the time the work is completed, something that is expected to happen in 2026. EFE-EPA