Metro rail plan on right track

The Bahrain government has flagged off the first phase of the ambitious metro rail project.

Transportation and Telecommunications Minister Kamal Ahmed yesterday announced that the network will be procured through a two-stage global and competitively bid public tender process, comprising Request for Qualification (RFQ) which is expected to commence next month.

The Bahrain Metro Phase One represents the government’s plans to develop a 109km rail-based urban transit network at an estimated cost of between $1 billion and $2bn.


Aimed at easing traffic congestion, the rail will be completed in a phased manner. It will consist of an elevated corridor with two lines with an estimated length of 28.6km. There will be 20 stations and two interchanges.

“The project marks an important milestone as it will provide a fast, comfortable, reliable, sustainable and modern transportation system in Bahrain, thereby improving the standards of living,” the minister said.

The GDN earlier reported that the phase one – showcased at a market consultation event in March – had been received positively by the private sector.

Details of the Phase One of the Bahrain Metro project

The state-of-the-art rail transport network will be fully automated.

“The driverless GoA4 system operation will have an initial capacity of approximately 5,000 passengers per hour per direction, or passengers per hour in peak direction (PPHPD), with the scope for scalability and expandability to 23,000 PPHPD for each line,” said a statement from the ministry.

“Ridership in the initial few years of operation is expected to be around 200,000 per day, with growth expected as more travellers shift from using their private cars to the Metro system.

“The project is expected to be procured through a two-stage global and competitively bid public tender process comprising RFQ followed by the Request for Proposal and the RFQ process is expected to commence in November 2021.”


The GDN reported last month that seven companies – including four from Bahrain – are bidding for the consultancy services contract of the project. The ministry also added that the project will be tendered as an integrated public private partnership (PPP). The selected private partner will implement the project on a Design, Build, Finance, Operate, Maintain, Transfer basis with a contract period of 35 years.

“The demand risk will be borne by the government while the private partner will receive availability-based payments along with performance-based deductions and incentives,” it said.

“The government will provide a pre-determined amount as construction grant to the project company.”

The different metro stations planned across the country

It said that sites required for the metro corridor and the associated depot facilities have been acquired by the government at its own cost and will be handed over to the private partner at the start of the project.

“The government is actively considering additional measures and support it could extend to further enhance the overall viability of the rail network,” it added.

Bahrain, regarded as the gateway to the Gulf’s larger market, is ranked as top global business climate improvers according to the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report.

“Bahrain has extensive experience in successfully procuring large infrastructure projects on a PPP basis across sectors,” said the ministry, adding that some of the major initiatives that have been delivered include the Khalifa Bin Salman Port, Al Dur 1 & 2 Independent Water & Power Project, Bahrain LNG, Bahrain bus system, Muharraq STP and Northern City and Al Lawzi housing.

The ministry has appointed KPMG as the lead transaction adviser, Egis as technical adviser and DLA Piper as legal adviser for procurement of the project.

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