Riyadh Metro on track to partially open by the end of the year
It’s about to get easier to travel around Riyadh…
Work on the Riyadh Metro is progressing swiftly, with the first phase due to open before the end of 2020.
According to Al Jazirah newspaper, authorities are confident that a number of stations will be open to the public by the year’s end. The US$27 billion project is a key component of the capital’s expansion plans, improving transport throughout the city.
The construction of the Riyadh Metro is part of the city’s wider expansion plans, which hope to increase public transport usage in the capital from its current one per cent to 20 per cent.
Fahad Al Rasheed, president of the Urban20 (U20) and the Royal Commission for Riyadh City (RCRC), said “The sky is the limit for our ambition in Riyadh, and we anticipate doubling of the city’s population to 15 million as well as doubling of the size of the economy with the implementation of more than 18 giant projects, including Riyadh Metro, Al-Diriyah, Qiddiya, Riyadh Art and Green Riyadh,” he said.
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Construction on the 176-kilometre Riyadh Metro began in 2014, with an original completion date of 2021. The rapid transport system will consist of six metro lines, connecting 85 stations across the capital.
When complete, the sprawling network will connect Riyadh’s most densely populated areas with public facilities and government, educational, commercial and medical institutions.
Cutting-edge design and sinuous lines typify the Riyadh Metro stations. Similar to the Dubai Metro stations, they will be modelled on monorail sites, spanning several levels. Each station will be air-conditioned, and fitted with solar cell technology to produce about 20 per cent of the energy needed for cooling and lighting.
In 2018, naming rights were awarded to eight stations, raising US$278.7 million in capital. These include the Saudi British Bank (SABB); Dr. Sulaiman Al Habib Medical Group; Saudi Telecom Company (STC); Alinma Bank; Bank Abilad; Majid Al Futtaim Shopping Malls Company; Granada Investment Center and SABIC. Each station will bear the sponsor’s name for a 10-year period.