Muscat: Oman’s Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) has plans to construct air-conditioned bus stations and create a dedicated lane for Mwasalat buses.
The move follows the tremendous success of Mwasalat buses which have been a hit from day one.
“The special lane will be launched in coordination with the Royal Oman Police (ROP) and can be used during the time of emergency,” according to Eng Salim bin Mohammed Al Nuaimi, Undersecretary for Transport Affairs, Ministry of Transport and Communications.
More than 600,000 passengers used the Mwasalat service in the first 70 days, averaging around 9,000 passengers every day along routes connecting Ruwi to other places. Giving the break-up, he said there were 71,308 passengers on Ruwi-Wadi Adai road, 223,732 passengers used Ruwi-Wadi Kabir route and 319,050 used Ruwi-Mabela route between November 22, 2015 and end of January, 2016.
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Regarding the new routes in 2016, he said Mwasalat is introducing two new routes in the first quarter of 2016.
“These new routes will be Ruwi-Muttrah and Ruwi-Al Amerat,” Eng Salim Al Nuaimi said.
In the second quarter of 2016, Mwasalat will launch a route connecting Burj Al Sahwa (Al Khoud) to Sultan Qaboos University where the bus service will have a a frequency of 20 minutes.
Specialised training centre
He also said the ministry will also open a specialised training centre to train Mwasalat drivers.
“We also continue employing Omanis and have signed contracts with professional trainers to supervise and educate the bus drivers,” officials said.
Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Futaisi, Minister of Transport and Communications, said Mwasalat has been highly appreciated by the people of Oman. “This is one of the reasons we are expanding our services,” he said on the sidelines of the annual meeting which takes place at the beginning of every year to review the accomplishments of the previous year and the plans for the new year.
Al Nuaimi said that 24 land transportation projects were completed in 2015 at a cost of OMR482 million, covering 541 km of road stretch, in addition to bridges and road maintenance while five projects were partially completed in 2015 at a cost of OMR247 million and covered 153 km of road length.
The total cost of finished work in 2015 stood at OMR729 million covering 694 km of road length.
While 49 road projects are under execution at a cost of OMR2.1 billion,and covers a road stretch of 1,650km in addition to roundabouts, flyovers and tunnels.
Meanwhile, seven projects are under execution for the construction of cuts across roads at a cost of OMR7.5 million with a road length of 96 km while the yearly maintenance cost for asphalt roads and off roads is estimated to reach OMR9.5 million in 2016.