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(MENAFN – Arab News) International bids for Jeddah metro system and other modes of public transport will be invited shortly, a municipal official said in a statement.

“Jeddah’s light rail transit system resembling the Dubai Metro involves the construction of a 108-km long railway track that will run across the city. It will consist of three major lines, which will be called Orange, Blue and Green lines,” said the Undersecretary at the Jeddah mayor’s office for Projects and Urban Constructions, Ibrahim Kutubkhana.

The 67-km Orange line will connect Makkah Road with Obhur, passing through the central part of the city northward. It will have 22 stations besides a branch line to the east along Sari Street, Kutubkhana said.

The 24-km Blue line will link King Abdulaziz International Airport to the Old Airport Road with 17 stations. The 17-km Green line will run along Palestine Road with a branch to the Old Airport and end at the Haramain Railway. It will have only seven stations, the official said.

The planned public transport system also includes a bus service using 816 buses linking metro stations with all residential districts in the city, he said. Buses will run 750 km in various districts and have 2,950 stops, Al-Watan daily reported on Sunday.

The feasibility study of the metro system was undertaken by a Canadian consultancy company.

The municipality has opted for the new system after being convinced of the difficulties being faced by the city residents who solely depend on an overcrowded road network.

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

Steps to introduce metro projects in Riyadh and Makkah have already been taken. In April, the Council of Ministers approved plans to develop a new public transport network in Riyadh within four years that would include both a metro and a new fleet of buses. According to the plans, the metro project in Riyadh will constitute the backbone of the public transport project. The plans proposed six major routes with a length of 181 km.

The Council of Ministers approved a SR 62 billion plan to modernize the transport system in Makkah, including a metro system and bus network, Culture and Information Minister Abdul Aziz Khoja said in a recent statement.
Four metro lines of a total length of 182 km will be built across the holy city, with 88 stations, he said.

The project will be implemented over 10 years in three phases. The first phase will be completed in three years and is expected to cost SR 25.5 billion. The second phase, to be implemented within five years, would cost SR 19 billion. The final phase will take two more years at an estimated cost of 17.5 billion. More info