By Fazeena Saleem
DOHA: Passengers can now use an electronic pass to travel by public transport throughout the country.
Karwa Smartcard, an electronic public transport pass system offers the convenience of contact less and cash less bus travel to passengers. It is developed with state-of-the-art smart solutions, to enhance the interactive performance with users of public transport.
This facilitates with a passenger check-in, check-out system, vehicle tracking system and new travel fares.
“We knew from the beginning that this service would be one of the best services that would match the rapid economic and technological developments we are going through at both the local and global levels,” said Jassem Saif Al Sulaiti, Chairman and Managing Director of Mowasalat Company (Karwa) at the launch of Karwa smartcard. The smartcard users will be benefited with less fare for the distance they travel. The previous minimum fare of QR3 will not be applicable for the smartcard users, instead a check-in fare of QR2 and a pre-determined fare per each bus stop on each route will be deducted from the card.
For instance, if a passenger travels by bus route number 10, he will be charged QR2 as check-in fare and QR0.19 per bus stop along the route.
Karwa Smartcard is pre-loaded with a specific amount so a customer can start travelling immediately after purchasing the card. Karwa Smartcard is also a lifetime card pass. However, the top-ups have a shelf-life and must be consumed within a certain period of time.
Mowasalat has installed all Karwa buses with the new Karwa Smartcard System including the new buses to be added soon. The busses will have both the manual ticket system and the electronic pass system for a time period until the passengers are aware of the new system.
Mowasalat has also installed Karwa Smartcard Centers, including at the Mowasalat Bus Station at Al Ghanim. It has also set up a large number of centres in popular malls, shopping centres and souqs to sell the smartcards. A customer is required to fill an application form at any of these centres and pay a minimum amount of QR30 of which QR20 will be pre-activated for immediate use.
The remaining QR10 will be refunded when the passenger reaches an accumulative top-up of QR300. A passenger needs to top-up using cash in denominations of QR10 with a maximum top-up of QR100 in a single transaction.
Karwa Smartcard calculates the fare based on the actual distance of a passenger’s travelling distance. Upon getting on-board the Karwa bus, a passenger simply taps the Karwa Smartcard on the marked surface of the new machine to check-in, and taps it again when the passenger checks-out.
The Karwa Smartcard launch held at the Marriot Hotel Doha was also attended by the Turkish ambassador Emre Yunt, representatives from Mowasalat and representatives of KentKart Company of Turkey.