Saudi Arabia's transport ministry to spend SR773m on new road safety projects

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Transport announced that it will implement eight road safety projects. (File photo / AFP)
Updated 19 November 2018

Saudi Arabia's transport ministry to spend SR773m on new road safety projects

  • The new Riyadh Metro will carry 1.16 million passengers daily, while Riyadh Bus Network will transport about 900,000 passengers every day
  • The total cost for all 23 projects will be around SR2.2 billion

RIYADH: The Ministry of Transport announced on Sunday that it will implement eight road safety projects at a total cost of SR773 million ($20.6 million).
The eight projects will improve the safety of the Kingdom’s road system, which covers more than 68,000 kilometers, said a press release.
The eight projects include the establishment of the National Road Safety Center, three “traffic safety equipment” projects, three “rumble strip” projects —to alert motorists to changing road conditions, and the implementation of recommendations from last year’s Engineering and Consultancy Services Agreement, which identified a number of issues with the country’s road network, including accident black spots; reviewed the ministry’s traffic control centers; analyzed accident reports; and modernized the ministry’s safety department documentation and policies.
According to the press release, it will implement a further 15 projects over the next three years, all aimed at reducing the number of accidents and casualties on the Kingdom’s roads. It is estimated that traffic accidents cause material losses of SR4.4 billion every year. Later projects will include improved safety facilities at animal crossings, the installation of protective barriers for lampposts on some roads, improved intersections and junctions, and improved street lighting around dangerous intersections.
The total cost for all 23 projects will be around SR2.2 billion. They are part of the transport ministry’s contribution to the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030.

RPTN Project
In a plan to tackle Riyadh’s traffic problems, the new Riyadh Metro will carry at least 1.16 million passengers daily, while Riyadh Bus Network will carry about 900,000 passengers every day to feed the metro trains.
They are part of the ambitious Riyadh Public Transit Network Project (RPTN).
“The system aims to carry 1.16 million passengers per day during its initial phase, with a peak of 3.6 million per day at ultimate capacity,” said Tariq Al-Faris, the chief executive officer of Riyadh Development Authority (RDA). He said the railway and bus networks will address the traffic problems of Riyadh, which has a population of 6.5 million people today.
“Its streets currently witness more than 9 million car trips per day, raising problems of congestion, pollution and reduced mobility that threaten to choke economic growth in Riyadh, making the development of a comprehensive public transportation system paramount,” said Al-Faris. He said that the metro network, with its six lines totaling 176 km and 85 metro stations, will cover most of the densely populated areas and public facilities, as well as governmental, educational, commercial and medical institutions.
Referring to the trains’ passenger capacity, he said the “Riyadh Metro trainset will be 36 meters long and will be able to accommodate up to 260 passengers. The metro trains will be driverless and designed to run on standard gauge tracks, at a top speed of 90 kilometers per hour.”
The Riyadh Metro project will have 190 trainsets, and the network is designed to accommodate up to 338 trains when needed, he noted.
Similarly, metro stations are designed according to a unified architectural pattern, giving the project a unique look and feel, said a booklet released by the RDA. Intended to provide passengers with safety and comfort, all stations will be air-conditioned, equipped with passenger information systems and free Internet access. Stations will make use of solar cells technology, to save about 20 percent of the power required for air-conditioning and lighting.
The statement said that to encourage people to use the network, a total of 25 park-and-ride facilities are being built along the lines. “A total of 80 bus routes, which will be feeder routes for Riyadh Metro, will cover the capital city,” said the statement, referring to the building of 3,000 bus terminals and stations. The bus fleet will be made up of 842 vehicles in total.

Saudi Cabinet congratulates security forces for thwarting terror cell

King Salman chairs the virtual meeting. (SPA)
Updated 30 September 2020

Saudi Cabinet congratulates security forces for thwarting terror cell

  • King Salman thanked international leaders and officials for their messages of congratulations to the Kingdom and its people on the occasion of its 90th National Day

RIYADH: The Saudi Cabinet on Tuesday congratulated the Presidency of State Security for its work in identifying and apprehending the suspected members of a terror cell in the Kingdom.

Some of those who were arrested allegedly trained at sites in Iran run by the country’s Revolutionary Guards. A cache of weapons and explosives was also seized.

Ministers expressed their appreciation for the efforts of the presidency’s employees in tracking down those who threaten the security and stability of the Kingdom and the safety of those who live there.

Majid Al-Qasabi, the acting minister of media, said that while reviewing the latest regional and international developments, cabinet members reiterated the Kingdom’s call during the recent International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference for the international community to adopt a firm stance on Iran, and take steps to address its violations of international agreements relating to its nuclear-research program. They also reaffirmed Saudi support for efforts, in partnership with the international community, to make the Middle East a nuclear weapon-free zone.

The virtual meeting was chaired by King Salman, who began by passing on his condolences and sympathy to the people of Kuwait and the family of its Emir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, who died on Tuesday. He also congratulated the emir’s successor, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.

King Salman thanked international leaders and officials for their messages of congratulations to the Kingdom and its people on the occasion of its 90th National Day. He also briefed ministers on his recent telephone conversation with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during which the two leaders reviewed bilateral relations and discussed opportunities to further develop them.

The cabinet commended the king for his speech during the UN’s 75th General Assembly in New York, during which he emphasized the his country’s continued commitment to assisting the international community in efforts to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and address its humanitarian and economic implications.

Ministers also noted that his speech reflected the Kingdom’s dedication to security, stability and prosperity as a strategic choice, its call for peaceful coexistence, moderation and solidarity among all countries and peoples to address humanitarian challenges, its support for political solutions to conflicts, and its efforts to combat extremism in all its forms.

Al-Qasabi said that the Cabinet welcomed the announcement by the Kingdom that the G20 Leaders’ Summit will take place as planned as scheduled on Nov. 21 and 22, albeit virtually as a result of the pandemic. Saudi Arabia hold the presidency of the G20 this year.

Ministers also expressed their appreciation for international efforts, led by G20 countries, that have resulted in the provision of more than $21 billion to support the production of diagnostic and therapeutic tools during the pandemic, and the development and distribution of vaccines. In addition, more than $11 trillion has been allocated to protect the global economy, and more than $14 billion to mitigate the debt burdens of less-developed countries and help fund their health services and social programs. The Cabinet also reviewed the latest local and international developments in the pandemic, along with preparations for the safe resumption of Umrah.

Ministers reiterated the Saudi call, during an emergency meeting of the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for Environmental Affairs, for urgent action to avoid an environmental catastrophe in the Red Sea as a result of the deteriorating condition of the oil tanker Safer, which has been anchored off the coast of Yemen, near Ras Issa port, since 2015.

The Cabinet also expressed its concern over developments in the dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and urged both sides to agree a ceasefire and resolve the conflict peacefully in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.