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Saudi to launch new public bus service in Riyadh, Jeddah

Saudi to launch new public bus service in Riyadh, Jeddah

The kingdom is engaging in a number of projects to improve public transport in major cities

A new public bus service will begin operating in the Saudi cities of Riyadh and Jeddah from Tuesday.

The new service, operated by a specialised national company Saptco, replaces civil bus routes the Saudi Cabinet decided to halt on October 31 last year.

Initial fares will be SAR3 ($0.80) for a journey between stops as part of a launch promotion.

Prior to the launch, authorities conducted a study on the impact a public service would have on private bus owners and drivers.

They have been given the option of working for Saptco as drivers or obtaining a loan from the Social Development Bank to start a new business.

Commuters are being encouraged to use the service in Jeddah and Riyadh and provide feedback and suggestions for its development.

The kingdom is engaging in a number of projects to improve public transport in major cities.

Work on metro systems in Riyadh, Jeddah and Makkah is underway, with the latter also awarding a $853.2m contract for a network of 400 buses to a consortium of Saudi’s Nesma and Spain’s TCC last October.

Read: Saudi, Spanish consortium awarded $853m Makkah bus contract

Read: Elevator firm Kone wins order for Riyadh Metro

In addition, the Ministerial Committee on Public Transport in Jeddah confirmed plans for other projects in collaboration with the private sector during a meeting on Sunday.

These include a corniche tram service, sea taxis and the Abhor bridge, which will be 350m long and feature eight lanes with the potential to carry 6,000 cars per hour.

When completed it will be one of the largest concrete suspension bridges in the world.

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