Higher petrol prices may encourage use of trains



RIYADH: ARAB NEWS

Published — Thursday 1 August 2013

Last update 1 August 2013 6:27 am

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The Arriyadh Development Authority says that it is in the process of developing incentives to encourage citizens to use the metro system once it is operational. 
One of the suggested proposals includes raising the price of fuel, which is expected to compel a wide segment of the population to use the metro and buses as a means of commuting instead of relying on their cars.
This move would be in line with the authority’s strategic goals to reduce pollution and fuel consumption.
Ibrahim Al-Sultan, head of the projects and planning center in the authority said the decision of the Cabinet regarding public transport in Riyadh stipulated on putting in place incentives to use trains and buses. 
“The authority, with the cooperation of a number of government bodies, such as the Ministry of Finance, is drafting a number of material and moral incentives in this direction,” he said.
He pointed out that raising fuel prices is one solution that may lay the foundation for a modern commuting culture.
“One other solution is increasing parking fees so citizens and residents find it necessary to leave their cars and use public transport.”
When asked about the bus project, Al-Sultan explained that the Ministry of Transportation is planning to launch “The Town Line” in conjunction with the public transport network. 
He noted that the authority is working with the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation to establish training programs for Saudis, which in turn will contribute to the nationalization of jobs in the field, stressing that the “operating process will depend on Saudis.”
Abdulaziz Al-Asheikh, deputy head of the center, said that the metro could be expanded in the future, in line with the capital’s growth.
Riyadh Gov. Prince Khaled bin Bandar said recently that the use of solar energy would save 20 percent of electricity consumption in the operation of the trains.

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