Mwasalat on Monday signed agreements with the Arab Engineering Services Company, ‘dealers for MAN in Oman, and First Vehicles LLC to purchase around 98 public transport buses.
Speaking to the Observer, the company said that the Route 2 (Wadi Kabir-Ruwi) and Route 4 (Muscat-Ruwi) will be extended to Al Bustan from the coming year.
Of the 10 new services, new routes will be between Ruwi and Muscat International Airport and Burj al Sahwa and Muscat airport, apart from other routes connecting commercial centres and hospitals.
Mwasalat Taxi should hopefully be launched by the year-end, including the airport services.
To be supplied over a period starting from December, the agreements provide for the supply of 98 buses during the next phase, including 33 buses for inter-city services and 65 buses for the city services starting from December this year, till August 2018.
The agreement, on behalf of Mwasalat, was signed by Ahmed bin Ali al Bulushi, CEO, includes the supply of 33 MAN buses, the first-of-its-kind in the Middle East with technical specifications such as Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Guard System and Emergency Brake Assist to avoid accidents as much as possible.
These buses will be used to replace a number of old buses operating on the existing inter-city lines, apart from the new routes. MAN will also supply 35 low-floor buses with a length of 12m and 40 seats. For the first time, 30 low-floor VDL buses with 31 seats will be supplied, which will be used on roads with higher curves and rotations. These buses will be also cost and fuel efficient. The total cost of supplying these 98 buses is RO 11.6 million.
These agreements will provide job opportunities for more than 320 Omanis, including 250 Omani drivers and technical staff who will be enrolled in an intensive training programme over the coming months.
Al Bulushi said: “Buses will be manufactured according to specifications and all technical and operational aspects have been taken into account when purchased.”
In the first half of next year, the public transport buses will have electronic reservation systems and bus accurate tracking systems that allow the user to track the bus until it arrives.
Al Bulushi said: “Ten new routes in Muscat will be operated with the arrival of new buses, taking the total number to 17 lines from the current seven routes, including catering to Royal and Khoula Hospitals. City bus routes within Salalah and Suhar will be launched next year.”