Engineering and project management service provider Royal HaskoningDHV, in joint venture with Mshari Al-Shathri Engineering, has been appointed by the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Transport to prepare a feasibility study and preliminary design for Dammam’s first public transportation system. It is hoped the project will alleviate congestion and improve living conditions in the area.
Significant growth over recent years has seen the Dammam and Khobar urban area reach approximately two million people. A reliance on private cars has resulted in daily traffic jams, with complete gridlock predicted for the Dammam urban road network within a few years, if growth continues at this rate.
Dr. Abdul Aziz Al-Ohaly, the Undersecretary for Transport Affairs, states: “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.”
The 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.”
The project entails a preliminary design and feasibility study for a 110km bus rapid transit network, 50km of light rail and 350km of feeder buses in the Dammam Metropolitan Area, which includes King Fahd International Airport. A multidisciplinary approach will include infrastructure design, urban integration, public transport planning, operation planning, procurement strategy and business case preparation.
The contract was awarded to a joint venture of Royal HaskoningDHV and local consultants Mshari Al-Shathri. Operating from Royal HaskoningDHV’s Saudi Arabian branch office SADECO, the project team will work closely with both the Municipality of Dammam and the Saudi Ministry of Transport.