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Bahrain's $8bn public transport network on track

Manama, April 20, 2010

Work on Bahrain's new BD3 billion ($7.956 billion) public transport network should start by the end of next year, it has emerged.

Ten consultants have now been shortlisted to complete a detailed feasibility study, which is expected to be ready by December next year, Works Ministry road planning and design director Huda Abdulla Fakhroo said.

She said work on the project would start immediately after studies were finished and the entire network would be completed by 2030.

The network, which consists of Light Rail Transport (LRT), a monorail, trams and a Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system, will cover a total of 184.2km.

Early blueprints for the project were unveiled yesterday and Fakhroo said work would be conducted in phases.

'We shall begin work on the BD453 million first phase, consisting of 24km of LRT and tram network, immediately after the studies are completed,' she told delegates at the Middle East Rail Opportunities Conference 2010, which opened at the Gulf Hotel yesterday.

She explained the first phase will incorporate a 13km light rail track running from the Bahrain International Airport to Bahrain Mall and an 11km tramline running from Juffair to Bahrain Mall.

'The first phase is expected to be completed by 2014, after which work will begin on the BD1.5bn second phase,' added Fakhroo.

The second phase will feature a 72.7km network consisting of LRT, monorail and BRT and is expected to be completed by 2021, while the BD1.1bn third phase, slated to start in 2022 and finish by 2030, will also consist of an LRT, monorail, tram and BRT system.

'By then, the entire country will be covered by the network, which will significantly contribute towards easing congestion in Bahrain,' she said.

The transport system will be divided into several transit lines, which have been allocated different colours depending on the route.

When the entire project is finished, the Red Line light rail system will start at the airport and run through Muharraq, Manama, past Bahrain Mall to Isa Town, then onto Riffa, the Qatar-Bahrain Friendship Causeway, Durrat Al Bahrain and the Hawar Islands.

The Green Line will feature a tramway from Juffair to Manama, then past the Pearl Roundabout, the Seef District, Bahrain Mall, Jidhafs and Budaiya.

A Brown Line will feature a light rail system running from Manama to Jidhafs, Salmabad, Hamad Town, Bahrain University and the Bahrain International Circuit.

The monorail Blue Line will connect Juffair, the Al Fateh Highway, Shaikh Isa bin Salman Causeway and the new Northern Town off the Budaiya coast.

The Purple Line bus route will begin at Bahrain University, Sakhir, and run through Hamad Town, Riffa and Sitra before ending in Manama.

'The Orange Line (bus transport system) will begin from Hidd, pass along the Shaikh Hamad Highway, the Bahrain International Airport, King Faisal Highway and Diyar Al Muharraq,' added Fakhroo.

She said the new transport system was needed to cope with the country's growing population, which is expected to double to 2.3 million by 2030.

'This project is clearly a challenge for the government and is central to the Vision 2030,' added Fakhroo.

'The participation of the private sector will be vital in this entire exercise.'

She revealed details of the massive project on the first day of the three-day conference organised by Fleming Gulf Conferences, which is focusing on developments in regional rail projects worth an estimated $100 billion (BD38.7 billion).-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | Infrastructure | new public transport system |

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