JEDDAH: The first phase of the public transport plan for Dammam will be launched this month to establish the main structure for connecting it to other major cities, including Alkhobar, Dhahran, Qatif and Ras Tanura, the chairman of the Public Transport Authority (PTA) said on Wednesday.
The electronic licensing platform will be launched on Sunday to facilitate licensing procedures, added Rumaih bin Mohammed Al-Rumaih.
The Bayan e-platform for associating drivers’ data with vehicles will be launched in early 2019, he said during a meeting with the business sector in the Eastern Province.
The meeting, in the Asharqia Chamber, was attended by its chairman, Abdul Hakim bin Hamad Al-Khaldi, Vice Chairman Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Buali and board members.
Other participants included the chairman of the industry and energy committee, Ibrahim Al-Sheikh, the chairman of the logistics committee, Bander Al-Jabri, the chamber’s secretary-general, Abdul Rahman Al-Wabel, and businesspeople interested in the public transport sector.
Al-Rumaih said the PTA has always been keen to support investors, and its main goal is to attract investment in the sector in a manner that contributes to achieving the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan and turning Saudi Arabia into a global logistics center.
“The PTA’s responsibility is to reorganize and regulate the transport sector in accordance with international standards,” he added.
This “can only be achieved by providing safe, efficient, integrated and green public transport in all of the Kingdom’s provinces to create a high-quality, efficient and cost-effective transport environment that is built using advanced technology and promotes investment in the sector,” he said.
Al-Rumaih highlighted the completion of 95 percent of a project to develop transport systems in the city of Tabuk, and 75 percent of a study to develop them in the city of Al-Baha.
On the sidelines of the meeting, Al-Khaldi said: “Public transport is one of the most important sectors for achieving comprehensive development, and improving it is an indicator of a country’s urban development.”
The PTA’s leading role in reorganizing and regulating the public transport sector will contribute to establishing an investment environment that appeals to the business sector, he added.
Al-Jabri said: “The transport sector is key to achieving Vision 2030, as it provides logistics services to different production and services sectors, in addition to offering job opportunities for local talents and investment opportunities for local investors.”
The PTA’s activities will achieve a “quantum leap in the Saudi public transport system and establish a national industry based on partnership with the private sector,” he added.
“This will contribute to the Kingdom’s economic growth, and provide a high-quality and professional transport system.”
At the end of the meeting, Al-Khaldi gave Al-Rumaih a commemorative shield.