Makkah public transport project gathers pace

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

MAKKAH — The Makkah Region Development Authority (MRDA) is vigorously going ahead with implementing the first phase of the ambitious public transport project.

This is in line with the directives of Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, emir of Makkah, advisor to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and chairman of MRDA, and with the follow-up of Prince Badr Bin Sultan, deputy emir of Makkah.

The authority has completed 22 percent of the infrastructures of the project which will bring about dramatic changes in the entire public transport system of the city consisting of integrated metro and bus services.

Makkah Mass Rail Transit Company is implementing the first phase of the bus project, which consists of 12 lanes, including seven lanes for local buses with a length of 172 km and 347 stations; and five lanes for express buses with a length of 103 km and 103 stations.

The Makkah Public Transport Project accounts for 400 buses, including 240 regular ones and 160 articulated buses, while the project facilities include four central stations, seven bridges, 11 smart intersections and 455 stops.

Around 30 percent of the comprehensive main bus station project has also been completed. Spread over a total of 320,000 sq. meters, the project consists of the control building, administration building for drivers, a fuel station, a light maintenance workshop, a heavy maintenance workshop and the main headquarters of the project. Around 116,000 sq. meters of the area is earmarked for the bus operating facilities.

The project aims to cater to the growing transportation needs of the holy city after taking into account the expected growth in the population and the growing number of Hajj and Umrah pilgrims and visitors. It also aims to boost the economic development of Makkah through provision of easy access to the Grand Mosque as well as to the educational, employment, health, commercial and recreational facilities all over the city.

The integrated public transport system, which consists of four metro lines along with a network of shuttle, local and express buses would also contribute to reducing pollution and protecting the environment throughout the region, especially in the central Haram area by reducing reliance on small cars as a means of transport.

The system would be a sustainable one in the heart of Makkah to develop it as a smart city in its capacity as the most important Islamic center in the world.