RIYADH — More than 16.3 million passengers are expected to benefit annually from an ambitious 3400-km coastal transport project, which will connect 14 coastal cities and tourist destinations in the Kingdom.
The project is expected to create 38,300 direct and indirect jobs and will add SR8.9 billion to the gross domestic product (GDP).
This information was contained in an economic feasibility study for transporting passengers by sea between cities and islands in the Eastern Arabian Gulf coast and the western Red Sea coast.
Details of the study were revealed in an online workshop organized on Tuesday by the Public Transport Authority (PTA) and chaired by Dr. Rumaih Al-Rumaih, the chairman of PTA.
The event was attended by a number of senior officials and heads of the relevant government departments and agencies.
As many as 22 government and private agencies participated in the economic feasibility study, which focused on analyzing the current situation and the local market to find out the potential marine routes with a length of 3,400 km along the Kingdom’s eastern and western coasts. The study has identified five main proposed regions, consisting of 14 marine routes serving the Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea.
The study comes in line with PTA’s regulatory and legislative role in carrying out studies about public transport plans in the Kingdom, with adopting modern technologies and raising the efficiency and effectiveness of passenger transport services as well as creating the appropriate regulatory environment for the provision of public transport services and stimulating their use.
The study was also based on 15 strategies and initiatives related to the transport sector, the foremost of which is the National Strategy for Transport and Logistics Services. The project will connect cities and islands through seven marine lanes each on the eastern coast and the western coast.
The proposed marine routes on the eastern coast include Jubail Corniche, Ras Tanura, Darain Jubail, Dammam and Khobar Corniche, Half Moon Beach and Uqair Beach.
On the western coast, the seven tracks cover Farasan Island in Jazan, the water taxi in Jeddah, King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh and then the giant projects in the Red Sea such as the Red Sea Project, Amaala, and Duba.
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