In an announcement from Faisal Dropoly, a spokesperson for Oman National Transport Company, as part of their plans to roll out a complete and competent bus network by 2015, announced in a press conference last night that in partnership with Muscat Municipality and the ROP, a dedicated rapid bus lane will be installed between the Al Sahwa Tower r/a near Muscat City Center and the Qurum City Center junction in Qurum.
The dedicated bus lane will be installed as part of the Sultan Qaboos Street re-building following changes to account for building the airport, which is already evidenced with work at the Azaiba and Ghubra junctions, as well as a new section running in parallel to the airport.
The estimated journey time from end to end in rush hour in the morning will be just 20 minutes and will cost 100bz one way, or a book of 20 tickets will cost RO 1.500. Wow. 20 minutes for that distance in the rush hour in the morning?! Thats amazing.
The ROP are involved as part of their drive to reduce traffic related injuries and fatalities - Taxi's will no longer be allowed to pull in on the side of the highway to solicit for fares as this has been highlighted after an extensive research study conducted by the Oman traffic safety awareness committee as a particularly dangerous practice.
The announcement did not contain an exact date for when the bus lane would be completed (no surprise there then), but it did indicate that trials would begin before the end of the year. Exciting times indeed.