GCC metro study to begin in March
Manama, February 13, 2013
A comprehensive study of the GCC Railway Network will begin in March, Transportation Minister Kamal Ahmed said in a statement.
It will feature mechanisms of implementation, including feasibility, operations and technical aspects of the $30 billion project to set up the 2,200km railway network, our sister newspaper, the Gulf Daily News reported.
Ahmed said the project requires extensive planning and initial agreements have already been made with Saudi Arabian authorities.
"The GCC metro network has been approved and is under the supervision of the International Bank, which will provide us with all the necessary technical and operations feedback for implementation," he said.
"The connection points will be done through agreement, but internal train routes will be determined by each member state.”
"We have already received the Finance Ministry's approval for a special budget to assign a consultancy firm to draw up routes within Bahrain and it will start in March and afterwards we are planning to present it to the GCC Secretariat-General to make related arrangements."
Ahmed said the King Fahad Causeway Authority is responsible for allocating funding for the metro project.
"Our study will be ready in the first quarter of next year, but that doesn't mean organisation work has not started between all those concerned - whether here in Bahrain or Saudi Arabia," he said.
He said the railway route with Qatar will be planned after work starts on the new causeway linking both countries.
Meanwhile, Ahmed said that a comprehensive plan to develop public transportation in Bahrain will be ready in March.
"Everything related to transportation will be mentioned in that report whether in land, sea, air and even postal," he said.
"There is a problem with public transportation and is being snubbed by people, with only 16,000 considering it as a method of transportation, but there are plans to change all of that."
He was responding to a question by MP Mohammed Al Ammadi on plans to improve public transportation in Bahrain. – TradeArabia News Service