With a population of more than 5 million, the capital Riyadh is Saudi Arabia’s biggest city. It has experienced rapid growth over a short period of time; the population more than doubled since 1990. But despite that growth, Riyadh remained lacking of any real means of public transport, and city residents have to use private cars to go from one place to another, leading to congested streets and chronic traffic jams.
After more than a decade of debating the need and feasability of the project, city planners finally announced that Riyadh will get a brand new public transport system to serve its fast-growing population. In July 2012, the government shortlisted four consortia to build a metro system in Riyadh, and last December the government announced that a new “Public Transport Commission” will be established to be tasked with regulating inter- and intra-city public transport services as well as encouraging private investments in the sector.
King Abdullah gave orders to finish the project in four years. Prince Khaled bin Bander, the governor of Riyadh, said the project is progressing according to the plan. ArRiyadh Development Authority recently release more details about the public transport plan for the city, including a collection of photos for metro and bus stations designs.
According to the plan, six metro lines will serve as the backbone for public transport in the city:
- Blue line: The 44km long line will serve the Olaya-Batha-Hayer axis and will include 39 stations.
- Green line: The 22km long line will move along King Abdullah road, linking KSU in the west to King Fahad Stadum in the east. It will include 14 stations.
- Red line: At 45km, it is the longest line. It will be constructed along Madinah, with the old train station in the middle of the line.
- Orange line: It will link King Khaled International Airport to the new King Abdullah Financial District, with stops at Princess Norah University and Imam Mohammed bin Saud Islamic University.
- Yellow line: The 26km long line will be constructed along King Abdulaziz Road and will include 26 stations.
- Purple line: This line will server eastern Riyadh and will feature 9 stations only.
Two renderdings showing the design of the metro station at King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) in northwestern Riyadh.
Design of the major Olaya metro station.
Design of the major metro station in Qaser al-Hokem area in downtown Riyadh.
Design of the major metro station in western Riyadh.