3,500 buses to facilitate public transport in Riyadh

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Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — The Saudi Arabian Public Transport Company (SAPTCO) has set out a roadmap for the transportation of eight million people in the capital city ahead of the launch of Riyadh metro system.

The existing Khat Al-Balad buses will be replaced by modern city buses by the end of this year.

SAPTCO will operate buses to different destinations charging SR3 to SR5. Passengers will be able to access the service using electronic pre-paid cards.

Buses will be available for all parts of the capital city from downtown Riyadh. One set of buses will start from Aziziya, south of Riyadh, carrying passengers to destinations in the north. Buses operating from King Fahd Stadium, east of Riyadh, will take passengers to the Diplomatic Quarter in the west.

“The new bus network will provide quality services to passengers,” a senior SAPTCO official said.

Buses will be available to and from metro stations. The new network will also cater to the needs of new residential districts in the city.

“The main objective of the new public transport system is to reduce the use of cars by individuals inside the capital city to avoid traffic jams, prevent pollution and cut down the use of fuel,” a senior official said.

Bus stations are designed to meet present and future requirements.

Commuters will be able to travel on metro trains and buses using the same ticket or prepaid cards, said the official, adding that all buses will have the same color.

“New Riyadh buses will have advanced facilities ensuring the comfort and safety of passengers,” he said.

The bus system has four operation and maintenance centers, workshops and stores for spare parts, administration office for employees and night parking places. It will operate on the basis of an advanced control and communication system.

The public transport system in Riyadh, having 3,500 buses, will cover 5,000 destinations on 300 lanes passing through 1,000 traffic intersections. It will have 750 onboard units, devices to count passengers, traffic signal control systems and 4,000-real time passenger information (RTPI).

The bus fleet will have an operation control room in addition to offices to deal with accidents and training of staff members, the official added.

The bus network is part of the King Abdulaziz Public Transport project in Riyadh, which will bring about a revolutionary change in the capital city’s transport system.

The metro network constitutes the backbone of Riyadh’s public transport system. With six lines at a total length of 176 km and 85 metro stations, the metro network will cover most of the densely populated areas, public facilities, and the educational, commercial and medical institutions.

The network will be connected to King Khalid International Airport and King Abdullah Financial District, main universities, downtown and the public transport center.

The metro will have six lines. The first line (blue line) with a length of 38 km will cover Olaya, Batha, Al-Hayer roads, with a total length of 38 km. The second line (red) passes by King Abdullah Road, with a total length of 25.3 km.

The third line (orange) goes through Madinah Road, Prince Saad Bin Abdurrahman I Road, with a total length of 40.7 km. The fourth line (yellow) with a length of 30 km takes passengers to King Khalid International Airport and back.

The fifth line (green) passes by King Abdulaziz Road, with a total length of 12.9 km while the sixth line (violet) goes through Abdurrahman Bin Auf Road and Sheikh Hassan Bin Hussain Bin Ali Road, with a total length of 30 km.

Latest technologies have been incorporated into the metro network design. The trains will run automatically (without a driver). Central control rooms will be used to operate and monitor trains with high precision. About 42 percent of the metro passes through underground tunnels.


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