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Metros mushrooming across the GCC

Metros mushrooming across the GCC

Saudi Arabia started work on a 39 kilometer metro in its capital, Riyadh. More will follow suit.

November 10, 2009 12:33 by

Saudi Arabia’s Arriyadh Development Authority (ADA) has started construction on a 39 kilometer metro in Riyadh, the nation’s capital, reports Arab News. The first phase of the metro will have 36 stations, 23 stations on one rail, and 13 on another.

“The construction works have started on the two railway routes of the city,” a source at ADA told the English daily. “The electric metro system in Riyadh is part of the ADA’s efforts to make the public transport system more effective and popular.”

According to an ADA report, 87 percent of the capital’s 6.5 million residents use private cars as their main mode of transportation. The metro is expected to transport 1,500 passengers per hour in the service’s initial stages, but is likely to grow to 8,000, the authority said.

A spokesman for the Saudi Railways Organization (SRO), Mohammed Abu-Zaid, said the authority will receive eight train cars in the next three years from CAF, a Spanish company specialized in railway systems.  “The total cost of these eight train units is about SR612 million ($163.2 million),” he said.

CAF signed a contract with the SRO for the supply of the trains and a four-year maintenance project.

Riyadh residents must be ecstatic; they could use some good news.

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