The Higher Commission for the Development of Riyadh City is preparing to inaugurate the first phase of the construction and operation of light trains to transport passengers between the north and south, and east and west, of Riyadh, according to Al-Riyadh newspaper.
The project is aimed to attract people to use public transport rather than their cars, which will help ease congestion in the city. Statistics show that 92% of daily journeys in the city are made by private cars. The project also promotes private sector participation in financing and administering the Kingdom’s transport system.
The first phase of the project will be executed at the axis of Al-Olaya-Al-Batha axis, and that of Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Road. Priority will be given to Al-Olaya-Al-Batha axis, where light trains will be supported by buses that will collect passengers from surrounding areas.
Al-Olaya-Al-Batha axis will be 25km in length, extending from the northern to the southern Riyadh ring-roads. It was designed to serve highly populated areas, and key sites in the city, such as Riyadh International Exhibition Centre, Oais, Taibah, and Andalusia markets, the Ministry of Municipality and Rural Affairs, the Kingdom’s Tower, Al-Akariya commercial centre, and others.
The Prince Abdullah Road axis will extend 13km from the eastern ring-road to King Khalid road to the west. It will serve all facilities and agencies located on Prince Abdullah road, such as King Saud University, Prince Sultan National University, the Ministry of Municipality and Rural Affairs, the Ministry of Education, and a number of large commercial complexes.
Studies have shown that such a system of light trains represents the optimal technical solution to serve present and future transportation needs in Riyadh. The system will be operated using electricity as its energy source, which will help preserve a clean environment. The length of trains used in the first phase of the project will range from 20 to 43 metres. The trains will transport 2,000 to 20,000 passengers per hour, at a speed of up to 65 km/hr. There will be 23 stations along Al-Olaya-Al-Batha axis, and 13 on Prince Abdullah Road axis.