Following approval from the Supreme Committee dealing with COVID-19, the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology has decided to resume public transport services starting September 27.
The ministry cleared the resumption of intercity services from September 27, within Muscat city from October 4 and within Salalah from October 18. The Sohar city services will be announced at a later date.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19 and for the safety of staff and passengers, the ministry has put in place precautionary measures. These include sterilisation of the buses before and after each trip, temperature check of passengers, wearing masks at all times while riding the buses and providing hand sanitisers onboard.
Bus owners and passengers have hailed the decision, including Nasser al Hosni, director of Happy Line Transportation. “We thank the Supreme Committee for this decision. We have been affected financially because our buses have not plied for five months,” Hosni said.
“Our buses have seating capacity of 52 but we’ll operate at only a quarter of that – 16 seats. And, of course, we will abide by the decisions of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology and the health guidelines of the Ministry of Health to limit the spread of the coronavirus.”
For residents who rely on bus services, the decision has come as big relief. “I am very happy that Mwasalat will resume services. It will make it easier for me. But we must adhere to the Ministry of Health measures for the sake of everyone’s wellbeing,” said Omar Salem.
Vinod Raghavan, another resident, said, “Mwasalat buses are a lifeline for many people in Oman, especially Muscat. I travel often from Ruwi to Al Khuwayr, Azaiba, Rusayl and Ma’abela. The bus services are excellent and punctual. Seeing the red buses back on the roads will be a boon for the general public who do not have cars and solely depend on public transport.”
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