Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Saudi Arabia Prepares for ‘Public Transport’ Phase | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Riyadh- Public Transport Company (PTC), the joint-venture between Saudi Public Transport Co. (SAPTCO) and RATP Dev signed this month two agreements with Mercedes-Benz and MAN to buy around 1,000 buses for the future Riyadh bus network.

ArRiyadh Development Authority (ADA) has awarded PTC a 10-year contract worth SAR 7.86 million to provide 1,000 modern buses to serve the Riyadh network.

The deal was signed at the UITP Global Public Transport Summit 2017 in Montreal, and in the presence of Masaki Ogata, UITP president; Pere Calvet, president-elect of UITP; and Alain Flausch, UITP secretary general.

This important step comes at a time when the King Abdulaziz Public Transport Project in Riyadh is considered a qualitative leap in the field of public transport projects in Saudi Arabia.

This is the first project of its kind in the Kingdom and the second public transport project in the Gulf States after the Dubai Metro.

“This project combines the internationally acknowledged expertise of RATP Dev, with the experience and detailed field knowledge of SAPTCO. We will implement all our know-how to offer a high level of service quality and meet the expectations of the Arriyadh Development Authority and passengers,” Khalid al-Hogail, chief executive officer of SAPTCO and PTC chairman said.

All vehicles have been specifically designed for the Riyadh Bus Project with distinctive and iconic features by the two leading global manufacturers –Mercedes-Benz and MAN.

“RATP Dev is particularly proud to be alongside its Saudi partner SAPTCO for this highly ambitious project. These major order agreements mark an important stage in one of the most remarkable contracts in our group’s history, setting us up in a region where there are many new transport infrastructure projects,” said Laurence Batlle, chairwoman of the executive board of RATP Dev.

“Mercedes-Benz and Juffali are proud to be a major partner in this vital and strategic project by introducing one of the highest-tech Mercedes-Benz buses with Euro 5 engines for the first time in the Saudi Market. This project shall be a milestone and a benchmark for a new era of the public transportation in Saudi Arabia,” said Amjad Haddad, National sales manager, Juffali Co, Mercedes Benz’s general distributor in Saudi Arabia.

For his part, Rudi Kuchta, MAN senior vice president, said: “MAN and HHA, distributor of MAN in KSA, are glad to participate in this important project which is a milestone in the GCC region. We are very proud to deliver the latest technology of MAN buses with the special design for this pioneer project.”

Notably, RATP Dev and SAPTCO, through their joint venture, were awarded the contract by ADA to mobilize, operate and maintain the future bus network in Riyadh.

The network will be operated initially using a fleet of approximately 1,000 vehicles and will include three BRT lines, 21 commuter lines and more than 60 feeder lines (permanent and transport on demand).

These lines will be introduced into service in three phases and will ultimately ensure 90 million km annually targeting to transport more than 100 million passengers every year.