MUSCAT: As part of strengthening public transport service in the country, the Sultanate’s state-owned transport company Mwasalat is all set to purchase 118 new buses to operate in eight new routes.
This is part of a larger scheme to acquire 350 new buses and invest a whopping $300 million in the next three to five years to expand the company’s operation and to strengthen the public transport system in the country, according to Ahmed Ali Al Balushi, chief executive officer of Mwasalat, who was talking to journalists on the sidelines of UITP Mena Seminar and Assembly here on Monday. However, he noted that the plan to acquire 350 buses over the next three to five years and the proposed investment will depend on the availability of funds.
“We have already tendered for 118 buses and it is in the final stages. Hopefully, the award will take place before the end of the month or early next month,” Al Balushi said, adding; “Once the new fleet arrives (towards the end of the year), we will be operating eight new routes.
“Also, we will enhance the frequency of bus service in existing routes.”
This is in addition to seven routes operated by Mwasalat. The bus service will start in the seventh route (between Al Mabela and Al Mabela South) in March.” This route is connected to other routes for passengers who would like to go to Ruwi or Al Khuwair.
Al Balushi said that if the company finalises the deal to purchase 118 buses by the end of the month, the new buses will start coming from fourth quarter onwards. It will be imported in different phases over a period of three to four months.