If the long commutes and gridlock traffic are any indication, residents of Riyadh are very aware that the city is undergoing a major transformation: the SR85 billion public transportation system. In November, ABGR members enjoyed a presentation about this massive undertaking when representatives from the Arriyadh Development Authority led a General Membership breakfast.Beginning with a promotional video, it is unsurprising that such a project is needed. With the population of Riyadh projected to reach 8.2 million by 2030, a modern transportation infrastructure is necessary for this growing metropolis. The impressive metro will span 176 km with 85 metro stations connecting public facilities, educational, commercial and medical institutions as well as the airport and King Abdullah Financial District. Trains will run automatically without a driver and will operate through prayer times. The design and construction for the Riyadh Metro Project was awarded to three consortiums: BACS, Arriyadh New Mobility (ANM) and FAST, which are comprised of 20 international companies. Beyond an impressive metro system, the Public Transport Project also includes very intricate city bus feeder lines as well as Park and Ride facilities. The Riyadh Bus Network will cover 1200 KM among 22 lines and 6765 bus stops. They will also feature a tracking system integrated with a mobile app for convenience. At the conclusion of the presentation which included two videos demonstrating the project’s current development, ADA fielded questions from the audience. One question in particular raised the issue of public reception of the system, expressing concern about who would use the metro and buses. We were reassured that with the new generation of Saudis and with the help of concerted marketing efforts, the people of Riyadh would see the effectiveness and usefulness of a public transportation system.
At the time of publication of this article, the projected completion date is on schedule for 2018. If you would like to learn more information, please visit their website!
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