MINA – The new shuttle bus system will reduce traffic jams by transporting 300,000 pilgrims from wherever they are staying to the Holy Haram at prayer time.
This was the assurance given by Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, Emir of Makkah, Chairman of the Haj Central Committee and Chairman of the Higher Authority for Monitoring Pilgrims’ Transportation.
Prince Khaled said in a statement this system made it possible to get rid of 6,000 buses usually needed for the transportation of this number of pilgrims. This is calculated at a rate of 50 pilgrims for each bus or by 75,000 cars at a rate of four passengers in each car.
He said an advantage of the shuttle transport system is that it reduces pressure on Makkah’s roads because less vehicles are transporting pilgrims. Thousands of buses and cars create chaos and cause environmental pollution.
He said the system was piloted during last year’s Haj and proved to be a success. The system transported pilgrims directly from their residences on the route linking Mehbas Al-Jin to the Gate of Ali Station and also Kadi Parking lot to King Abdul Aziz Gate at the Holy Haram.
He said the experience had reduced pressure on the central area and benefited the Mehbas Al-Jin Tunnels at Al-Aziziya. He stressed that the shuttle system had effectively reduced the number of buses, increased their operational efficiency and cut the time for transporting pilgrims.
He also highlighted the development of the pilgrims’ transport fleet, pointing out that this enabled the authorities to stop renting buses to support the fleet.
He said the number of the buses operating under the umbrella of the General Syndicate for Cars had reached 19,705 buses owned by 16 national companies.
On the Cabinet’s decision to ban buses with a capacity of less than 25 passengers, Prince Khaled said that Saptco was now transporting pilgrims from various parking lots to their Tawafa establishments in Makkah. – SPA