In Jumada II, 1433H (December 2011), the cabinet approved all phases of the public transport project in Riyadh (metro & buses) based on the related studies conducted by the Royal Commission for Riyadh City in cooperation with the concerned authorities to find comprehensive solutions to the traffic congestion problem in Riyadh city.
Pursuant to the cabinet decision, a high committee was formed to supervise the project.
Soon after its formation, the committee started to outline the project phases, scope of work and schedule based on the results of studies, designs and execution plans prepared by the Royal Commission for Riyadh City.
Comprising a metro network and a parallel bus network, the public transport project in Riyadh city is being established according to the comprehensive plan for public transport developed by the Royal Commission for Riyadh City. This plan aims at providing all population groups with suitable public transport services, diversifying the transportation means in the city effectively and appropriately, in addition to keeping the use of private cars within the minimum limits.
The project will be of great benefit to Riyadh traffic, economy, society and environment. Moreover, it will provide the city with a giant public transport system to meet its existing and future needs.
The metro network constitutes the backbone of the public transport system in Riyadh. With six lines at a total length of 176 km and 85 metro stations, the metro network will cover most of the densely populated areas, public facilities, and the educational, commercial and medical institutions. The network will be connected to King Khalid International Airport and King Abdullah Financial District, main universities, downtown and the public transport center.
The six metro lines are as follows:
The latest technologies were incorporated into the metro network design. The trains will run automatically (without a driver). Central control rooms will be used to operate and monitor trains with high precision.
Specifications of metro cars have included the world’s latest technologies. The cars can be separated internally to accommodate different service classes in addition to the family class. The cars also support the communication and information exchange services.
To give the Riyadh metro project a unique identity, a unified design for all trains was prepared, and the winning consortia were required to follow this design.
The Riyadh metro stations were designed according to a unified architectural pattern to give the project a unique identity. Intended to provide the passengers with safety and comfort, all stations will be air-conditioned, equipped with passenger information system and provide internet access. Some selected stations will include shops and car parks.
The stations will make use of solar cells technology to save about 20% of the power required for air-conditioning and lightening.
The Riyadh metro project includes four main stations. Located in highly populated areas and at the intersections of metro lines and bus network, the main stations are among the key factors contributing to the success of the Riyadh city public transport system. They will provide many support services such as parking lots, ticket outlets, shops, and customer service offices.
The project also includes five stations serving as transit stops between different metro lines, and integrate with the bus network. They aim at facilitating the movement of the passengers among the different levels of the public transport network in Riyadh.
The Royal Commission for Riyadh City has organized an architectural competition and invited the most prominent architectural offices and companies to provide their innovative designs for the main four metro stations.
Snohetta from Norway has won the competition to design the Qasr Al-Hukm district station downtown Riyadh. The station will serve as interchange between metro line 1 (axis of Al-Olaya – Al-Batha Roads) and metro line 3 (axis of Al-Madinah Al-Munawarah Road – Prince Saad Bin Abdurrahman I Road). It covers an area of 19,600 m².
Zaha Hadid Architects from the UK has won the competition to design King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) metro station. The station is located at the east of the Northern Ring Road and slightly west of King Fahd Road. It will serve as a major interchange between metro lines 1, 4 and 6, in addition to being linked to KAFD’s monorail. The station covers an area of 8.150 m².
Omrania & Associates has won the competition to design the western metro station. Covering an area of 12,500 m², the station will be built on the land currently used for the Central Vegetable Market of Al-Suwaidi Al-Gharbi district. It will link the third metro line with the bus route overlooking Sheikh Muhammad Bin Abdullatif Street. This station will include a metro station and bus station in addition to a parking area with a capacity of 1000 cars.
About 21 Park & Ride locations with a capacity ranging from 200 to 600 cars per each were dedicated to facilitate the use of the metro network. These locations are well-distributed throughout the city to make it easy for the people to switch between their private cars and metro.
The project will meet all safety and security requirements for passengers and facilities; all metro cars and stations will be provided with advanced surveillance systems, which include surveillance cameras and early warning systems, firefighting systems, tunnel safety systems and a communication system that supports real-time communication with the Control & Operation Center and the competent security authorities.
The Riyadh Metro project includes the establishment of seven parking & maintenance centers, which include workshops for regular maintenance, offices for the staff and parking areas for the metro train fleet, as well as control centers.
The project includes the construction of five advanced centers to operate, control and monitor the metro lines, trains, stations and other project facilities.
The electric power needed by the Riyadh Metro Project was estimated at 468 MVA. Thanks to coordination between the Royal Commission for Riyadh City and the Saudi Electricity Company, it was decided that the optimal method to provide the project with electricity is to provide each metro line with power from two independent sources. In other words, there will be 12 main power plants to feed the project, of which 4 plants with a capacity of 389/33K will be built from scratch for that reason. The other 8 plants are already in service but their capacity will be expanded. These power plants will be connected to the network via land cables with a total length of 84 km.
Earlier, the Royal Commission for Riyadh City prequalified four international consortia for the Riyadh metro project competition. Their technical and financial proposals were examined and evaluated by a specialized team from the RCRC supported by 80 experts from all over the world. The evaluation process ended with choosing the best technical and financial offers.
The RCRC has awarded the design and construction contracts for Riyadh metro project to three consortiums: BACS, Arriyadh New Mobility (ANM) and FAST, which comprise 20 international companies.
On 20 Ramadhan 1434H (28 July 2013), HRH prince Khalid Bin Bandar Bin Abdulaziz, former Chairman of the High Committee Supervising the Riyadh Public Transport Project, patronized the awarding ceremony of the Riyadh Metro contracts. The ceremony was held at the Culture Palace in the Diplomatic Quarter, and was attended by senior officials, businessmen, journalists and ambassadors of the states.
The ceremony witnessed the awarding of metro contracts to the BACS, ANM and FAST consortiums as follows:
Bus network will be the main feeder of the Riyadh metro network. It will also be the main mean of transportation within and among Riyadh districts. The bus routes were chosen based on the following criteria:
The bus network was designed to provide transportation service at different levels:
Accordingly, the bus network lines were divided into four levels as follows:
First Level: Lines with dedicated (bus-only) lanes.
This level includes the following bus lines with 103 stations, as follows:
Second level: Circle lines.
This level serves the city’s main residential centers. It includes two main lines with a total length of 83 km and features 67 stations. The two main lines are:
Third level: Ordinary lines.
This level connects the Riyadh city residential neighborhoods with each other. It includes 17 lines with a total length of 444 km. Below are some of its main roads:
Fourth level: Feeding Lines.
This level will be inside the residential districts with a total length of 600 km. Most districts of Riyadh will be covered.
A unified design was approved to create unique identity for the project.
The bus network project includes four types of stations that match the different network levels in terms of design, capacity and function. It also features a bus tracking system and a passenger guidance and information system which aims at increasing the efficiency of the network operation and providing the passengers with real time updates about their trip and bus schedules. A comprehensive ticketing system for metro and buses that allows the use of a unified ticket at all lines of the Riyadh public transport network will be also available.
To make it more easy for people to use the buses, four Park & Ride sites, with a capacity that ranges from 200 to 600 cars per each, were provided, so that there are a total of 25 Park & Ride sites within the King Abdulaziz Project for Riyadh Public Transport (Metro & Buses).
Riyadh Bus Project has 3 parking & maintenance centers, which include workshops for regular maintenance, offices for the staff and parking areas for the buss fleet.
The bus network project was divided into three phases, as follows:
It covers the southern part of Riyadh city with a total length of 145 km for both normal and dedicated lanes buses.
lines with bus-only lanes covered by this phase are:
In addition, this phase also includes 18 ordinary bus lines and other related residential districts lines.
This phase covers the central part of Riyadh city, with a total length of 127 km. It includes the following lines with bus-only lanes:
In addition, the phase also includes 12 ordinary bus lines and other related residential districts lines.
It covers the remaining bus lines mainly located in the northern part of Riyadh city, with a total length of 175 km. This phase includes the following lines with bus-only lanes:
Phase three also covers the following circle lines:
This phase also includes 12 ordinary bus lines and other related residential districts lines.
HRH Prince Turki bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz patronized the signing ceremony of a contract worth SR7.8 billion on Thursday (Muharram 27, 1463H – November 20, 2014) with the Saudi Arabian Public Transport Company and France’s Regie Autonome des Transports Parisiens (RATP) to supply, operate and maintain the Riyadh Bus network. The project contract is valid for 10 years and two years preceding the commencement of the project for preparatory work.
The Center falls to the west of Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University with a total area of 80,000 m². The Center controls the operation of buses, communicates with the drivers and manages the passenger information system, and tracking system. The center will ensure integration between the metro and bus networks. In addition to the administrative offices, library, training and support rooms, the center will be used to manage the unified automatic ticketing system and monitor security and safety systems.
The comprehensive transport plan has defined the public transport lines according to the following criteria:
The comprehensive transport plan worked on meeting the existing and future transportation needs of Riyadh city and keeping up with its continuous population growth. According to studies carried out by the Royal Commission for Riyadh City, the population of Riyadh is expected to rise from 5.7 million in 1434H (2012) to more than 8.3 million by 1450H with city urban expansion already reached 1297 km²in 1434H (2012), this would mean heavier and longer traffic in the future.