Cable cars to link Makkah pilgrims with Grand Mosque

Officials draw up plan to establish 12 cable car systems to ease congestion in Makkah
Cable cars to link Makkah pilgrims with Grand Mosque
Grand Mosque, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
By Andy Sambidge
Sun 09 Oct 2011 07:28 PM

Plans are being prepared to establish cable car systems linking parking areas to the Grand Mosque in Makkah in a bid to ease the transport of pilgrims.

The 12 cable car routes will pick up pilgrims in Kudai, Rusaifa and Taneem as part of the government's efforts to reduce traffic congestion, Saudi daily Arab News reported on Sunday.

The project is a joint effort between the Centre of Research Excellence at Makkah's Umm Al-Qura University and the Transport and Crowd Management Centre at Toronto University, it said.

Adnan Gutub, director of the Centre of Research Excellence at Umm Al-Qura, was quoted as saying: “Cable car is an economically viable system and will contribute to lessening the congestion on the road.”

A workshop on the project was held at Umm Al-Qura University on Saturday to discuss the subject in detail with the participation of Saudi and foreign experts, the paper said, without giving details of cost or timetable.

“There will be two cable car lines from Kudai, four from Rusaifa and six from Taneem,” added Aamir Al-Shalabi of the University of Toronto.

Umm Al-Qura University president Bakri Assas commended the government’s efforts to improve facilities for the millions of pilgrims coming to Makkah to perform Haj and Umrah.

He stressed the importance of developing new transport systems in the light of the growing number of pilgrims.

According to one study, the number of the faithful coming to Makkah for Haj and Umrah is expected to cross 17m by 2025.

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