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MENAFN - Arab News - 17/12/2012

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Heavy traffic in Jeddah is hoped to be reduced by the new Jeddah metro project. (AP)
(MENAFN - Arab News) Transport Minister Jabara Al-Seraisry said the design work on the Jeddah metro project is almost complete.

"The designing of a light train project in Jeddah will be completed in five months. Then it will be submitted to the higher authorities for consideration," Al-Seraisry said in a meeting with prominent businessmen at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

"The study of metro trains in Jeddah is part of the ministry's mass transit system projects in Saudi cities," Al-Seraisry said.

According to an earlier statement made by the Jeddah Municipality, the proposed light rail transit system resembling the Dubai Metro will be 108-km long, running across the city. It will also consist of three major lines, which will be designated in different colors: orange, blue and green.

Al-Seraisry said a ring road project in Dammam was running behind schedule due to various unforeseen circumstances.

The minister also stressed the ministry's role in solving the country's unemployment problem by generating ample job opportunities in the transport sector.

"You are all aware that the transport sector is vital for the economic development of any region. The fast developing commercial and industrial sectors are dependent on a comprehensive advanced transport system," the minister said.

Al-Seraisry said 171 projects are being planned or implemented in the Makkah province under the current transport budget.

The JCCI has set up several committees to sort out the problems faced by workers in the transport sector. "Since billions are invested in employing thousands of citizens, the transport sector has a promising future. Its horizons are vast, providing large investment opportunities for the private sector," the minister said.

He also pointed out that logistics services constitute one of the major challenges in this, sector.

The planned mass transit system in Jeddah also includes a bus service using 816 buses to link metro stations with all the residential districts in the city. Buses will run 750 km in various districts and have 2,950 stops.

A municipal study showed that 96 percent of Jeddah's inhabitants use cars as their primary mode of transportation and only 4 percent use public transport.

Steps to introduce metro projects in Riyadh and Makkah are also under way. While the six routes of the Riyadh project will be 181 km long, the Makkah metro is projected to be 182 km with six branches. More than SR 62 billion has been allocated for the Makkah mass transport system including metro and bus networks.


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