Bids for Jeddah metro will be invited shortly

Updated 27 August 2012
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Bids for Jeddah metro will be invited shortly

JEDDAH: 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.


Formula E drivers ‘enjoy’ Saudi Arabia’s cultural heritage

Updated 14 December 2018
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Formula E drivers ‘enjoy’ Saudi Arabia’s cultural heritage

  • Formula E drivers explored Saudi Arabia and the local community
  • After visiting the UNESCO World Site of Ad Diriyah which is home to the new race track, drivers also visited Masmak Fort

Formula E drivers explored Saudi Arabia and the local community as the 2018 ‘Saudia’ Ad Diriyah E-Prix festivities took place.

After visiting the UNESCO World Site of Ad Diriyah which is home to the new race track, drivers also visited Masmak Fort, built in 1865.

Oliver Turvey, from the United Kingdom was part of a trio of drivers from team NIO who on Thursday took the opportunity to learn more about the fort’s heritage and history. He also took the time to look ahead to the big race, which makes Formula E’s debut in the Middle East. 

“I am really enjoying being here in a different culture. We want to show that electric cars are fast and strong,” he said. 

Teammate Tom Dilmann was already anticipating Saturday’s action.

“The track looks exciting, I’m really looking forward to it and am very excited for the race. Showing that we can race electric cars in the city, the future is here,” he said.

Jammy Chadwick, also from the UK, will be part of racing history in Saudi Arabia when she joins several other women on the starting grid of a ‘Rookie Test’ to discover new Formula E talent.

“This will be my first proper official test this Sunday, it’s a huge opportunity for me to learn and try the experience. It’s a positive message to have female drivers competing for the first time in Saudi, it sends a clear message of welcoming to everyone,” she said.

It was back to the future for drivers from the Mahindra Racing as they warmed up for the big race of Saturday taking on local competition, in the form of excited school children, at the Doos Karting Track in Riyadh.

They were cheered on by Prince Khalid bin Sultan, President of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation, who joined the fun.

Jerome d'Ambrosio, Felix Rosenqvist and Nick Heidfeld were put through their paces by children from King Faisal elementary and Trbiyah Namouthajiyah Schools.

Noura AL Shebani, 12, and Fahad Al Shenefi, 8, had the “time of their lives” racing against the Formula E drivers.

“If I had a little bit more time I could have won,” Noura told the race drivers after the race.

Belgian racer Jerome d’Ambrosio said: “We always have a wonderful and fun time karting. It reminds us of when we were young. Karting is almost how all racing drivers start, and we enjoy every opportunity like this one to just have fun.”

Meanwhile, Swedish driver Rosenqvist loved that the go-karts were electric, in keeping with the rather much bigger race about to unfold on Saturday.

He said: “Even at this level you can feel the instant power when coming out of a turn unlike Go Karts with combustion engines. It’s also better because when you can have indoor tracks which are very convenient in Saudi.”