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Phase 1 of Makkah public transport system in Saudi Arabia ready in 2017.

The first phase of a multi-service public transport system to be implemented across Saudi Arabia's holiest city of Makkah, at a cost of

62.0 billion Saudi Riyals (US$ 16.5), will be completed in 2017, according to a statement issued by its Mayor, Osama Al-Bar in

July 2013.

The network, integrating four metro lines, 88 stations and a rapid transit bus service that will embrace the entire city, is designed to ease

travel both to and within the city, home of Al-Masjid Al-Haram, the Grand Mosque and largest in the world which surrounds one of Islam's

holiest places, the Kba.

Al-Bar reported, that phase one would involve construction of a 30 kilometre (18.6 miles) metro line running from Um Al-Qura University in

Makkah's al-Abidiya district to the Sayeda Aisha Mosque, at a stage cost of 25.5 billion Saudi Riyals (US$ 6.8 billion). Work is to start

by mid-2014 and will take a total of three years to complete.

Metro service lines will go underground in those areas closest to the Grand Mosque, while in the outer suburbs they will run overhead via

a series of suspension bridges. The project is under the stewardship of the Makkah Railway Company, working in conjunction with Systra

the French rail and public transport engineering and consulting group along with BW Engineers a transport planning and engineering firm

from Germany. Once again European firms are prominent in the development of Saudi's infrastructure.

Al-Bar also described the road based element of the city's unfolding public transport system, saying that Makkah's express bus services

would run over a distance of 60 kilometres (37.3 miles) around the city between a network of 60 stations, while a local bus service would

fill in the gaps in other urban areas and also help link with outlying residential districts of metropolitan Makkah.

To be built in three phases, Makkah's public transport system in its entirety will be completed in ten years, and will underpin the largest

renovation and expansion programme associated with the Grand Mosque in its history.

As the global muslim population grows so does pilgrimage demand to Islam's two holiest sites, in this respect the US$ 21.3 billion

upgrade project is expected to increase capacity to 2 million pilgrims at any one time.

Copyright Andy McTiernan. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Andy McTiernan Property & Economy Bulletin
Date:Jul 22, 2013
Words:394
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