RIYADH — The Eastern Province Mayoralty launched a trial run of public transport bus service in the region and that is in preparation for the official launch in the near future.

Public transport buses will be plying between the cities of Dammam, Al-Khobar, Dhahran, and Qatif. A total of 85 fully furnished and equipped modern buses will be used for the public transport service.

There will be scheduled daily trips during a period of 18 hours from 5:30 in the morning until 11:30 in the evening. The buses will be operated on a connecting network of major tracks with a total distance of 400 km. There will be 212 stations, covering most of the prime locations in the four cities. The buses, with special facilities for people with disabilities, will have a capacity of 81 passengers.

The mayoralty said that the smart systems will be applied in the monitoring as well as in the operations of buses. There will be an integrated electronic system for the management of buses, apart from a flexible payment system using smart cards that can be purchased and recharged, through a number of electronic channels represented in self-selling devices, and a special application for the service of smart devices.

The mayoralty said that it had concluded a contract with a company to operate the public bus transport project in the metropolis of Dammam and the Qatif governorate for a period of five years. “The public transport sector represents one of the most important national strategic axes for transport and logistics services to raise performance efficiency, achieve safety, and consolidate the culture of public transport in cities, thus enhancing the quality of life,” he said.

It is noteworthy that the public transport service will contribute to providing multiple options for transportation for residents and visitors to Dammam city and the Qatif governorate, and will help facilitate movement within crowded central areas and destinations. It will also bring down carbon emissions due to the frequent use of personnel vehicles and energy consumption, in addition to easing traffic congestion.

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