JEDDAH – Minister of Transport Dr. Jabarah Al-Suraisiry has said that all transport-related problems in cities across the Kingdom would be solved with the introduction of public transport system within a few years.
Taking part in a “Joint Responsibility’ dialogue program hosted by Okaz at its headquarters Saturday evening, he announced that his ministry is determined to enact a system for limousine meter fare. “Under the new mechanism, taxicabs and customers must follow the meter fare system instead of the current practice of fixing charges on the basis of negotiations and bargaining,” he said.
Al-Suraisiry said the ministry, after elaborate studies, has come to the conclusion that an ambitious coastal transport project linking major cities along the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf was not feasible. He said that the Kingdom’s vast road network is instrumental in spurring the remarkable development being witnessed across the Kingdom.
“The network has a total length of about 200,000 km, and this included 60,000 km of asphalted express roads as well as double and single roads and 138,000 km of desert roads. At present, we are implementing new road projects with a total length of about 22,000 km,” he said, adding that the length of roads opened over the past five years reached 24,000 km.
Referring to the public transport system, Al-Suraisiry said the ministry, in cooperation with mayoralties and urban development authorities, has worked out a comprehensive plan to develop public transport system in major cities.
“This would bring about a qualitative transformation in the public transport sector in the near future and that would definitely encourage a major section of the people to leave their private vehicles and enjoy a comfortable travel in air-conditioned trains and buses. This would also help people to reach their destination without delay as there would be an ease in traffic flow with no congestions,” he said, adding that a comprehensive plan for public transport in Jeddah has already been drawn up.