RIYADH May 15 Saudi Arabia on Tuesday launched
a tender process to build a new metro system in the capital of
Riyadh in an effort to ease congestion on the city's gridlocked
The Arriyadh Development Authority (ADA) invited
international consortia to prequalify for the project, which it
wants to be finished in four years.
"ADA invites global consortia specialised in the production
and supply of rolling stock, control and telecommunications
systems as well as metro tunnelling, civil, mechanical and
electrical works to prequalify for Riyadh metro project," it
said in a statement.
Metro projects typically cost billions of dollars to build.
The prequalification notice came with a June 20 deadline.
In April, the Saudi Cabinet approved plans to develop a new
public transport network in the city within four years that
would include both a metro and a new fleet of buses.
The project will be overseen by a committee headed by Prince
Sattam, who was appointed Riyadh Governor in November and is
chairman of ADA, and also including the finance and transport
About four-fifths of the network would be underground,
including a line running under al-Olaya Street, al-Watan daily
wrote on Tuesday quoting "informed sources".
Saudi Arabia has only limited public transport facilities
and Riyadh suffers grinding congestion for much of the day and
into late evenings.
In December the government announced a 690 billion riyal
($184 billion) budget for 2012, as it seeks to boost
infrastructure, education and health.
(Reporting By Marwa Rashad; Editing by Reed Stevenson)