Mowasalat will introduce hybrid buses shortly. Mowasalat director of business development Ahmed al-Ansari said the buses, which would be introduced on trial basis later this month are dual powered, using diesel and electric-battery.
The buses were shown yesterday to journalists at the company compound in Abu Hamour.
Al-Ansari said hybrid buses would also be eventually used for other jobs, including ferrying school children. More than 1,400 buses of the company are currently used for transporting school children.
The company official said at least six hybrid buses would hit the road when it is initially launched. “More hybrid buses are expected to join the company’s fleet of public transport buses in the coming months. The initial batch of buses has already arrived and the company’s technical teams are currently undergoing operational training.”
The buses use American technology. The batteries on the buses derive power from diesel fuel and hence no external charging is required.
On successfully completing their operational training, company technical teams will train drivers and technicians.
The Faresaver smartcards the company introduced recently for regular bus passengers, are going down well with the travellers. The cards were first introduced on November 24 and in about a fortnight, more than 8,500 regular passengers have purchased them.
The rechargeable cards, said al-Ansari, are currently sold at 26 retail outlets across the country, besides at the 10 kiosks set up by Mowasalat exclusively for their sales. The company has also appointed 15 promoters. Soon cards would be available at more retail units all over the country.
Later speaking to Gulf Times, al-Ansari said the company is exploring the possibility of marketing the cards at locations other than retail outlets. This includes the possibility of selling the cards through money exchanges, he said.
The official said in another three months, the present system of issuing tickets on board by drivers would be wholly done away with.
“By introducing the smartcards, our plan is to strengthen the country’s public transport and also to make more people regular users,” said al-Ansari.
Cards are available in denominations starting from QR10 to QR100.