6 August 2013
Dutch firm Royal HaskoningDHV will help prepare studies and designs for the first public transport system in traffic-clogged Dammam, Saudi Arabia.
Gasoline costs only 15 cents per litre in this city of around four million and authorities are keen to get people out of their cars.
The project, to be undertaken with Saudi engineering consultant Mshari Al-Shathri, includes preparing a feasibility study and preliminary designs for light rail and bus rapid transit systems for greater Dammam, taking in King Fahd International Airport.
The joint venture will advise on infrastructure design, urban planning, business case preparation, and procurement strategy.
A public transport system will alleviate congestion in Dammam (Jpatokal at wts wikivoyage/Wikimedia)
The contract was awarded by the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Transport to alleviate congestion and improve the living environment in the city, which has seen significant growth in recent years.
Project manager for Royal HaskoningDHV, Nils den Hartog, said: "Public transport is currently almost non-existent in this car-dominated city where petrol costs no more than 15 cents per litre. A key challenge of this project will be the successful introduction of such a system."
Undersecretary for Transport Affairs, Abdul Aziz Al-Ohaly, said: "In order to improve mobility and to alleviate urban congestion, reduce noise and air pollution we realise that we need to encourage people to use public transport."