Public transport projects on schedule in Makkah

More than 400 smart buses will be operated in Makkah in 2020 with the use of Japanese intelligent transportation systems as part of the integrated public transport system, the Makkah Region Development Authority (MRDA) has announced.

  • © Saudi Gazette

“The implementation of public transport projects in the holy city is proceeding in accordance with the planned schedule, and this is in cooperation and coordination with the Royal Commission for Makkah City and Holy Sites. Several contracts are currently being implemented as part of the first phase of the project,” the authority said in a statement, carried by Saudi Press Agency. Japan’s NEC Corporation announced the introduction of an intelligent transportation system technology (ITS) for buses and transport companies to serve the people in the city, including Haj and Umrah pilgrims.

“This comes as part of an integrated system of work involving alliances in the design, implementation, construction of facilities, processing and manufacturing of buses and infrastructure works,” according to the statement. The Japanese company will introduce the smart system that will help manage more than 400 buses by next year and this number will increase to 2,000 over the next five years.

As part of the first phase of the project, the first contract was awarded to an alliance of major Saudi and Spanish companies to supply, operate and maintain Makkah buses for a period of 10 years, of which two years are for the design, implementation and construction of facilities, in addition to supplying and manufacturing buses with their own intelligent transportation systems provided by NEC Corporation.

Another contract was given to carry out the infrastructure work for the bus project, which includes major stations, special lanes and pedestrian bridges as well as traffic control systems. All the works and arrangements are underway to implement and operate public transport buses in Makkah.

The public bus network in Makkah consists of 12 routes covering most of the city areas with 400 German-made buses for the first phase, including 240 standard buses and 160 articulated buses that are aimed to provide the highest levels of comfort, efficiency and outstanding service.

The buses contain the latest intelligent transportation systems that enable the control and command center of buses to monitor the locations of buses via GPS and remote management. The buses will be equipped with the highest standards of safety and security. They include systems for camera surveillance, accident protection, fire extinguishers, and emergency alarm, and that will be linked to the control center.

Buses will also be equipped with Wi-Fi network, flight guidance screens and multi-language automated payment systems apart from Arabic and English, automatic passenger counting system, instant flight information system, and prioritization system associated with the highway traffic signaling system.

All these systems will be linked with the control center. There will be four main stations in the Central Area and about 450 stops on all routes, the authority statement added. -Saudi Gazette