Qatar taxi fleet to grow by over 133% in time for World Cup

State's transportation company Mowasalat is planning to have more than 7,000 cabs on the road in time for the 2022 tournament

Qatar’s public transportation company Mowasalat is planning to more than double its current fleet of taxis by the time the 2022 World Cup comes around, a senior official has told Doha News.

The state-backed firm has confirmed plans to ensure that 7,000 taxis are on the roads before the world football tournament gets underway in the Gulf state.

The current Karwa fleet comprised about 3,000 cars, with 1,200 of those Mowasalat-run taxis, and the rest operated by two franchisees – 1,000 blue-roofed cars from Al Ijarah, and 800 from maroon-roofed Al Million.

A Mowasalat spokeswoman said that Qatar would have a total of 4,000 taxis by the end of 2014.

Earlier this year, Mowasalat’s CEO Khalid al Hail said that contracts had been awarded to two new taxi franchisees.

The third operator, Ibn Ajayan, will have 300 cars on the road by the summer, with a further 200 by the end of the year, Doha News reported.

A further announcement is expected soon about Profit Trading & Contracting Company - the fourth franchisee confirmed by Mowasalat.

Mowasalat has previously said that it was looking into tender contracts to bring another two firms on board, creating a total of six franchises under the Karwa taxi brand. However, previous plans to roll out yellow-roofed taxis from firm Petro Qatar were scrapped after not meeting licensing requirements last summer.

Mowasalat has previously said Qatar’s Karwa taxi service will be run entirely by private firms by 2017 as it withdraws to operate solely as a regulator.

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