RIYADH — The residents of Riyadh dream of roaming the streets of the Saudi capital freely by the end of 2018 without the need to negotiate the grueling crowd of motorists they got accustomed to over the years.
Riyadh is one of the most developed state capitals in the world. The city is home to 8 million people and some 2 million vehicles ply its streets during rush hours, Al-Hayat newspaper reported.
According to recent statistics released by the General Directorate of Traffic, 8 million trips take place in the city each day and its roads are busy until late at night.
Work on the King Abdulaziz Public Transportation Project, which includes the Riyadh Metro and an expanded bus network, began in late 2013.
There are many reasons that cause the traffic jams in Riyadh, the most important of which is the large number of commuters who use private cars to travel in the absence of appropriate public transportation means.
Road safety experts attribute the reason for the traffic congestion to the protracted delay in carrying out several projects inside the capital, followed by the long-drawn-out implementation of road works.
Meanwhile, some people argue that the reasons for the chaotic traffic situation in the city are purely “behavioral”. They say the drivers do not respect traffic rules, jump red lights and drive at crazy speeds without heeding the consequences or the inconvenience to fellow drivers.
On the other hand, there are others who blame the capital’s suffocation on the large number of expatriate workers, 60 percent of whom own vehicles, in the city. These people call for restrictions and controls on acquisition of vehicles by expatriates. More info