Riyadh appoints consultants to future-proof its transport system

30 August 2021 Consultancy-me.com 3 min. read
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French engineering consultancy Egis has been hired to futureproof the transport system of Saudi Arabia’s capital city. The city's ambitious 2030 plans mean the firm will support several multi-billion projects aimed at helping the Kingdom solve a bottleneck in its transit network.

A petrostate is a nation whose economy is heavily dependent on the extraction and export of oil or natural gas. In recent years, a series of shocks to the price of oil have caused many of these nations to re-evaluate their reliance on the resource – but perhaps the most ambitious of these efforts can be found in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

First announced by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in 2016, the now infamous Saudi Vision 2030 is a strategic framework drawn up to reduce Saudi Arabia's dependence on oil, diversify its economy, and develop public service sectors such as health, education, energy diversification, recreation, and tourism.

Riyadh appoints consultants to future-proof its transport system

Having initially focused on the re-opening of cinemas, and moderate reforms to some of the country’s most antiquated laws, it has since grown in scope to include a potential bid to host the 2030 World Cup, and the creation of a new city in some of the country’s harshest desert, complete with robot-dinosaurs and a fake moon.

All of this is going to necessitate a huge up-scaling of Saudi Arabia’s capital city, Riyadh. As part of the 2030 plans, the city aims to become one of the world’s 10 largest city economies. As it looks to facilitate the huge levels of investment and business development necessary for all this change, the city will require a major infrastructure upgrade.

To that end, the Royal Commission for Riyadh City (RCRC) has appointed French consulting brand Egis to oversee an overhaul of its transport system.

Traffic jams

The future of urbanised transportation systems in the city has been the subject of intensive studies, as Riyadh looks to implement its growth plans. With the growing of the city, its mobility demands are set to change, requiring multi-modal transport and intersecting systems to help tackle this. According to a statement, Egis will help futureproof transportation methods in the Saudi capital, supporting RCRC in maintaining and developing the existing transport model for 3,000 residential zones, up from the current 1,500.

As part of this, Egis will develop transportation methods to adapt to the rapidly evolving mobility demand for people and goods movement. Data collected will be used for calibrating and implementing multi-modal travel forecast models, helping the city to address the heavy traffic and people movement issues.

In the process, the Egis project will address the impact of upcoming mega projects, including King Salman Park, Qiddiya, Diriyah, Misk City, KAFD, King Abdallah International Gardens, Jewan Housing Project – as well as the extension of Riyadh’s metro network.

Public transport will prove key to Riyadh’s expansion, if it is to both become an economic hub, and transform into one of the world’s most liveable cities. Earlier in 2021, a Boston Consulting Group report found the population of Riyadh is approximately 7.5 million, which equates to around one million cars on the roads daily – but the number of cars, and the air-pollution and congestion they bring with them is set to skyrocket in the coming years, as seven million potential new women drivers could be on the roads by 2025, alongside 35% of inhabitants currently under the age of 18 who will likely obtain drivers’ licences in the near future.