Osama Ibrahim Abdu, CEO of Jeddah Metro Company, an affiliate of Jeddah Municipality, disclosed that the public transportation project in Jeddah will be completed by 2020.
The metro will go into service after the last leg of safety tests are conducted nearly two years later in 2022, Al-Madinah daily reported.
The project, whose cost has reached about ($12 billion), will target 30 percent of the city’s traffic in 20 years. At present, public transportation accounts for only 1 to 2 percent of commuters in Jeddah.
To achieve this ambitious goal, Abdu said new policies will be rolled out that seek to support and encourage the use of public transportation.
He said the biggest challenges in the first stage have been infrastructure, traffic flow and ownership of land issues.
“This project is the biggest at present in Jeddah and it will have socio-economic effects on all parts of the province. Designing and planning an integrated public transportation network on an existing city is a big and difficult challenge, especially since there are other projects being simultaneously carried out," he said.
"However, planning, the availability of international consultants and learning from the experiences of pioneering countries in public transportation will help in accomplishing the project,” he added.
Abdu said the Council of Ministers issued a decision in 2012 to establish Jeddah Metro Company shortly after it approved the project. Among the first steps taken was the formation of the committees — a supreme committee and a preparatory committee. After that, the committees began working on matters related to the general plan.
The project was launched via three basic contracts. The first one is for providing consultancy services for the preparatory project management program.
The contract has been signed with AECOM Arabia Company Ltd. The period of the contract is 18 months and it is worth SR105.15 million.
According to the contract, AECOM Arabia Company Ltd. will support engineers and other staff of Jeddah Metro Company during all stages of the project, including planning and design and preparing contract documents for inviting bids, in addition to several other tasks and services.
The third contract will assign the chosen architectural consultant to prepare preliminary designs for all metro stations, buildings and car parks.
This article was first published in Saudi Gazette on Saturday, Aug. 09, 2014.