Arab News reports that Riyadh is to become a city of urban transportation. A massive scheme is to launched that will combine electric rail and a widespread network of buses to clear the dangerous clutter that now fills the roadways.
Riyadh may not be the worst place to drive in the world – I’d put Indian highways after dark in first place – but it is a major hassle. There are too many cars for the roads and driver discipline, well, leaves something to be desired. By making public transport available, the roads could be better utilized. The plan foresees a daily reduction of 2.2 million car trips and a saving of 800K driving hours. Annual savings to the economy could reach SR8 billion (US $2.37 billion).
Just having a new system, though, doesn’t mean that people will use it. Currently, public transportation is underused because of perceptions. Saudis tend to see it as something for foreign workers, not themselves. The government will have to sell the idea, but the idea will have to have real savings visible to those they hope to tempt to use it daily.
I think, too, that there’s going to be massive disruption as 42 kilometers of rail lines are set down, a short-term addition to driver misery until construction is done. Particularly in the downtown areas, there’s going to have to be a lot of destruction before the construction begins.
New transport system aims to generate major savings
RIYADH: ARAB NEWS
The approval of the Council of Ministers on Monday of the implementation of the Public Transport Project (PTP) in Riyadh came after the High Authority for the Development of Riyadh (HADR) had formulated a comprehensive plan.
This plan stipulated the establishment of road networks for public transport using buses and electric trains. The authority also completed the engineering designs, technical specifications and blueprints for the two projects.
In the first phase of the plan a rail network would be constructed on the axis of King Abdullah Road with a length of 17 kilometer. It would start from King Khaled Road on the west to Khaled bin Al-Waleed street to the east, and include 11 stations. The network would also run on the axis of Al-Olaya-Al-Batha Street with a length of 25 kilometer, extending from the northern to the southern ring road. When the train would reach its final destination at the headquarters of the department of public transport it would have passed 25 stations.
This phase would also include the establishment of a road network for buses covering the entire city to ensure people with safe transport.