Riyadh's Gov. Prince Turki bin Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz signed a contract worth SR7.8 billion ($2.08 billion) with the Saudi Arabian Public Transport Company and France's Regie Autonome des Transports Parisiens (RATP) to supply, operate and maintain the Riyadh Bus network. Prince Turki ,who is also the head of the Supreme Commission for the Development of Riyadh and head of the Committee Supervising the Implementation of King Abdulaziz Project for Public Transportation in Riyadh, said the project is valid for 10 years and two years preceding the commencement of the project for preparatory work.
The project is part of King Abdulaziz Project for Public Transportation in Riyadh and it has been approved by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah. Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf and Riyadh Mayor Abullah Al-Muqbel were also present along with other dignitaries from SAPTCO and RATP Dev. at the signing ceremony. After the ceremony, Prince Turki thanked King Abdullah and Crown Prince Salman,deputy premier and minister of defense, late Prince Sattam and other senior officials of the government for contributing to this project.
The agreement includes supplying the government with 1,000 buses with a capacity of transporting 900,000 passengers a day. The transport network will consist of 22 routes covering about 1,200 km all over the city. It includes 756 metro cars, 85 stations, six metro lines and 176-km network. Earlier in a statement, the governor said the Riyadh Metro, which is expected to be completed in less than five years, will also place the Saudi capital on par with the world's modern cities in advanced countries whose railway projects have played a key role in industrialization and modernization.
With the great promise of the project for the residents of the capital, Prince Turki said: "There are many indirect benefits for this project. It will save a lot of time for Saudis and expats and will have a huge economic impact." Ibrahim Al-Sultan, president of Arriyadh Development Authority (ADA), which is the executive branch of the High Commission for the Development of Arriyadh (HCDA), said the fleet of new buses will come in different sizes.
"It is set to cover more than 91.5 million km annually with a capacity of 900,000 passengers per day." The project is expected to be launched in three stages, Al-Sultan said, pointing out that the first stage would cover areas south of the capital. After a period of time, construction will begin in the center of the city and subsequently in the north and other parts of Riyadh.