Saudi city plans major public transport move

Dutch firm appointed to prepare study for rail, bus systems in Saudi city of Dammam
Saudi city plans major public transport move
(Photo for illustrative purposes only)
By Andy Sambidge
Sat 27 Jul 2013 11:18 AM

A Netherlands-based consultancy, engineering and project management service provider has been hired to draw up plans for a public transport system in Dammam, Saudi Arabia.

Royal HaskoningDHV in joint venture with Mshari Al-Shathri Engineering Consultant has been appointed by the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Transport to prepare a feasibility study and preliminary design for proposals to alleviate congestion in the Saudi city.

The project entails a feasibility study and preliminary design for a combination of 50km of light rail, 110km of bus rapid transit system and 350km of feeder buses in Dammam Metropolitan Area including King Fahd International Airport.

The plan comes as the Dammam and Khobar urban area has seen significant growth in recent years and now has about two million people.

Increasing use of private cars has led to traffic jams throughout the day, and at current growth rates, experts are forecasting gridlock across the Dammam urban road network within a few years.

The Undersecretary for Transport Affairs, Dr Abdul Aziz Al-Ohaly, said: "In order to improve mobility and to alleviate urban congestion, reduce noise and air pollution we realise that we need to encourage people to use public transport."

Nils den Hartog, Project manager for Royal HaskoningDHV, added: "Public transport is currently almost non-existent in this car-dominated city where petrol costs no more than 15 cents per litre. A key challenge of this project will be the successful introduction of such a system."

The contract was awarded to a joint venture of local Engineering Consultant Mshari Al-Shathri and Royal HaskoningDHV through its Saudi Arabian branch office SADECO. The project team will work closely with both the Saudi Ministry of Transport and the Municipality of Dammam, a statement said.

Royal HaskoningDHV employs a total of 7,000 staff around the world and has 100 offices.

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