25 Jul 2013
Dammam Khobar Tunnel Highway. Copyright: Angelito E. Cortez Photography
Royal HaskoningDHV in joint venture with Mshari Al-Shathri Engineering Consultant has been appointed by the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Transport to prepare a feasibility study and preliminary design for a first public transport system for Dammam to alleviate congestion and improve the living environment.
In recent years, the Dammam and Khobar urban area has seen a significant growth and now has approximately 2 million people. Increasing use of private cars has led to traffic jams throughout the day, and at current growth rates, experts are forecasting gridlock across the Dammam urban road network within a few years.
Encourage public transportThe Undersecretary for Transport Affairs, Dr. 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."
Nils den Hartog, Project manager for Royal HaskoningDHV 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."
Light rail and busesThe project entails a feasibility study and preliminary design for a combination of 50 km of light rail, 110 km of bus rapid transit system and 350 km of feeder buses in Dammam Metropolitan Area including King Fahd International Airport.
The approach will be multidisciplinary and include public transport planning, infrastructure design, urban integration, operation planning, business case preparation, and procurement strategy.
The contract was awarded to a joint venture of local Engineering Consultant Mshari Al-Shathri and Royal HaskoningDHV through its Saudi Arabian branch office SADECO. The project team will work closely with both the Saudi Ministry of Transport and the Municipality of Dammam.