BAHRAIN’S first metro project is expected to cost between $1 billion and $2bn, according to a report.
The project is likely to be launched in the fourth quarter of next year and will cover a total area of 109km.
It will be built in four phases over four years, an official was quoted as saying by state-run Bahrain News Agency (BNA) yesterday.
According to the latest information, electric driverless trains will carry 43,000 passengers per hour from more than 20 stations spread across the kingdom.
“The project will be funded by the government and the private sector in accordance with Bahrain Economic Vision 2030,” said Transportation and Telecommunications Minister’s adviser for roads Dr Abdulrahman Al Janahi.
“Tender for the project, which will take time due to the involvement of the private sector, is expected to be issued in the last quarter of 2019.
“The project, which will be implemented in four stages, will take four years to complete.”
Dr Al Janahi said the first phase will cover a distance of 30sqkm through two lines.
“The first line, known as The Red Line, will connect Bahrain International Airport to King Faisal Highway through Muharraq and go through Bahrain Financial Harbour and heading to Seef District.
“As for the second line, The Blue Line, it will start from Juffair going through Al Fateh and then to the Diplomatic Area, and connect with the Red Line at Bahrain Financial Harbour, where there will be a central station.
“The Blue Line will then head into Central Manama Market and Isa Town.”
The first phase will include the construction of 20 stops that have already been designed. Dr Al Janahi also hinted at some form of foreign partnership as certain specific skills would be required to operate a metro as well as ensure its safety, security and punctuality.
After the first phase goes operational, an extensive study will be conducted to gauge the interests by citizens and residents.
He said the ticket prices will be affordable by most people.
Bahrain will become the fourth country in the Gulf to build a metro, after Dubai and Saudi Arabia and Qatar which are building metros in Riyadh and Doha.
Bahrain’s nationwide monorail network was first proposed and approved by the Cabinet in 2008, but stalled shortly afterwards due to the global financial crisis.
On October 6, 2015 new bids for the construction of a light rail network comprising 22km of elevated double track with 19 stations and an initial capacity to handle 8,000 passengers were invited by the Tender Board, as part of Bahrain’s section of a pan-GCC railway.