Jeddah Metro plans get politicians’ approval

Hani Abu Rass, Mayor of Jeddah, and Abdul Aziz Al-Awhali, under-secretary for transportation affairs at the Ministry of Transport, have attended a meeting where the first phase of the city’s metro plan was approved, Saudi Gazette reports.

The initial metro network will encompass the new King Abdulaziz International Airport, Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal Stadium in downtown Al-Ruwais and Al-Khozam district.

Abu Rass referred to a study conducted by the transportation committee, which concluded that the current underpasses being constructed in the city would not alleviate traffic jams and bottlenecks, as the catalyst behind the approval.

“The study showed that 96% of Jeddah’s inhabitants use vehicles as their primary mode of transportation and only 4% use public transportation. This is hugely out of sync with the rest of the world, where up to 70% of the population in major cities uses public transportation,” said Abu Rass.

The Kingdom is racing ahead with plans to build metro networks in major cities, with four consortia shortlisted to build a new metro in Riyadh.

The four groups have four months to present their financial and technical bids for the project that seeks to ease congestion on the capital’s gridlocked streets.

The winner of the tender will build an underground network, provide electric trains, construct bridges and subway tunnels and provide all the engineering and design for the project, the news agency said.

The 175-km electrical rail link will connect Riyadh’s airport with other parts of the city, including the new King Abdullah Financial Centre.

by CW Staff ,Aug 5, 2012