Public transport news from Amsterdam, Sharm El-Sheikh, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia

Newsletter 17, December 2022

Women and girls, often overlooked in football festivities and the public transport sector (photo credit: Hafsa Adil/Al Jazeera)

Dear ,

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This newsletter has a geographical approach!


The World Passenger Festival, organised by Terrapinn, took place this year in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, from 16 to 18 November. I had the privilege of moderating three sessions (on green travel, national MaaS, and smart cities) at this international conference. It’s worth mentioning that just two days before the conference started, the Dutch government announced that it would co-fund an extension of the North-South metro line from Amsterdam to its airport, Schiphol.

Sharm El-Sheikh

The COP27 UN climate summit took place this year in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, from 6 to 20 November. A few days after the conference’s final session, I published the article ‘COP27 Egypt: the achievements on transport decarbonisation explained’. Next year’s Climate Change Conference will take place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and I intend to be there in person.


After the World Cup final on December 18, we know that Argentina is the new world champion in men’s football, but what did the tournament mean in terms of public transport for Qatar?

A completely new modern public transportation system for the greater Doha region has been built as part of the most compact FIFA World Cup ever (eight stadiums within an hour’s travel of each other). The numbers are impressive: one catenary-free tram line, three automated metro lines, 37 metro stations, 110 metro trains, more than 700 battery-electric buses, and the largest electric bus depot in the world. (Click here to read three of my LinkedIn posts about public transport in Qatar with more facts, numbers, and a future vision.)

During the month-long tournament, the metro system (operated by RKH Qitarat) functioned as the backbone for the fans’ mobility needs. And, as we can see in the many videos posted by Qatar Rail, the transport authority, this was quite a success. In addition, the 2022 FIFA World Cup edition was more inclusive for women and girls (see here and here). This could inspire the public transportation sector, which often centres men’s mobility needs over everyone else’s.

Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Intermobility Expo, organised by Informa Connect, took place for the first time this year in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The number of attendees reflected the overall enthusiasm among transport professionals for the Saudi market. I had the honour of delivering a technical seminar and moderating two panel sessions on transportation decarbonisation.

Modasti Consulting also started a new project this month regarding Saudi Arabia. I am currently working for an international public transport company to investigate opportunities to enter the country’s market.

In early 2023, I will be back in the Gulf region, at least in Dubai, for the Clean Buses in MENA Conference, organised by Global Mass Transit. I hope to meet you over there or on some other occasion!

Arjen Jaarsma, Public Transport Expert at Modasti Consulting
Arjen Jaarsma, Public Transport Expert
+31 6 235 88 096
Modasti Consulting

Modasti Consulting B.V.

Hofvijver 177, 5223 MC ’s-Hertogenbosch

the Netherlands