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Sun 26 Aug 2012 02:50 PM

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Saudi Arabia plans metro system in Jeddah

Network will be 108 km long, have three lines and 46 stations, city official says

Saudi Arabia plans metro system in Jeddah
(AFP/Getty Images - for illustrative purposes)

Saudi Arabia is preparing plans to build a metro system in its second largest city Jeddah, a project that would cost around SAR35bn (US$9.3bn), a deputy mayor of the city said on Sunday.

The metro system, the third one planned in the kingdom, would be 108 km long. It would have three lines and 46 stations, according to initial studies, said Ibrahim Kutubkhana, deputy mayor for projects and construction.

"Now we are in the phase of completing the initial studies...and this is being carried out by the Ministry of Transport. Later it will be tendered to international consortia for engineering, procurement and construction," Kutubkhana told Reuters.

The time frame for the project will be set after the initial studies are completed, he added.

Jeddah, an expanding city of over 3m people, has been struggling with inadequate infrastructure and is undergoing a multi-billion dollar overhaul that aims to transform the port city into a trade and tourist center.

Saudi Arabia, helped by big budget surpluses on the back of high oil prices, is spending over US$400bn in the five years to 2013 to upgrade its infrastructure. It has no metro systems at present but the capital Riyadh and the holy city of Makkah have launched plans to build them.

Earlier this month the Saudi government approved a US$16.5bn plan to modernise transport in Makkah, which will include a bus network and a 182 km metro system. Last month Riyadh pre-qualified four consortia for bidding to build its metro system.

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Josh 7 years ago

When will construction start