The integrated public transport system in Dammam and Qatif will cost around SR60 billion, said Eastern Province Mayor Fahad Al-Jubair.
"The project needs a year to a year-and-a-half for studies to be carried out and to identify railway locations and stations," he said. The project is expected to be compete by 2021.
Al-Jubair said solutions would be found for possible traffic problems during the implementation period of the project, which consists of light rail, buses, rapid transport and shuttle buses.
He also said that the project will have two main lines, including one linking Dareen island in the north of the province to Qatif, passing by Dammam and Dhahran until the King Fahd Causeway, which links Saudi Arabia with Bahrain.
"The second line will connect King Fahd Road in Dammam, a lifeline in the province, heading down to King Fahd International Airport in the west," the mayor said.
"The Eastern Province will witness a quantum leap after implementing the project and that will be reflected positively on the economic and tourism sector," Al-Jubair said.
Major international railway companies have expressed their intent to participate in the multibillion-riyal project.
French Ambassador Bertrand Besancenot said five specialized companies from his country would compete for the contracts.
"French companies have won about 50 percent of the Riyadh metro project," he said. Besancenot expressed hope that railway firms from his country would win a substantial number of metro contracts in Jeddah and Dammam.
"About 70 giant French companies are currently operating in Saudi Arabia," the ambassador said, adding that they employ 27,000 workers.