French firm Louis Berger has signed a deal with Al Madinah Al Munawwarah Development Authority (MMDA), a government organisation in Madinah that is tasked with urban planning to develop an expansive public transport system.
Under the deal which is valued at SAR375 million ($100 million), the firm will act as the programme management office consultant (PMOC) for the Al Madinah Al Munawwarah public transportation programme (MPTP).
The MPTP includes forming a comprehensive metro and bus network, as well as substantial upgrades and new construction for the primary road network. It also provides relevant facilities, such as stations, park-and-ride lots, depots, and advanced intelligent transportation systems.
As per the deal, the contract will last for five years during which Louis Berger will support and assist with MPTP’s planning procedures. It will also oversee and guide various project and construction management consultants, advisors and third parties across MPTP projects.
The project is expected to help meet the needs of a burgeoning urban population and visitors in the second holiest city of Islam. In addition, it will also address challenges related to crowding, traffic congestion and environmental pollution caused by vehicle emissions.
Fuelled by a major expansion of the city’s airport and the Prophet’s mosque, Madinah expects to receive as many as 8.6 million Umrah visitors and 3.6 million Haj pilgrims by 2040.
Efforts are also underway to build a new metro system for Madinah that is expected to ease the congestion.
Authorities recently awarded a contract to French engineering groups Egis and Systra to carry out design studies for the new Madinah Metro project.
The metro, whose work will be carried out in phases, is expected to be operational by 2020.