Foster + Partners in line for $12bn Jeddah Metro

Media reports say firm will design all 46 stations of Saudi project

Dubai Metro remains the only operational metro system in the GCC
Dubai Metro remains the only operational metro system in the GCC

British architecture firm Foster + Partners is believed to be the frontrunner to design all 46 stations of the new $12bn Jeddah Metro in Saudi Arabia, according to media reports.

The Architects’ Journal reports that the practice headed by Lord Norman Foster could earn a commission of up to $100mn in fees for the work.

In July french consultancy firm Systra has won a $73.6mn (SAR276mn) contract to provide preliminary engineering designs for the Jeddah Metro project, while two months earlier Aecom landed a contract to do preliminary planning and design work.

The project is being developed by Jeddah Metro Co: a joint venture between the Municipality and Jeddah Urban Regeneration Co. It is set to implement a proper integrated transport mega-project that will include metro, tram and commuter rail elements with a combined length of 293km, a 750km-long bus system with more than 3,000 stops, ferries and taxis.

In August Sama Ibrahim Abdu, CEO of Jeddah Metro, revealed that the project will not be ready for public use until 2022 – two years after construction has finished. The metro will go into service after a series of safety tests are conducted in the months after the project is set to be handed over in 2020.

Jeddah's metro project is aiming to take on 30% of the city's commuter flow in 20 years. Abdu said policies will be rolled out that seek to support and encourage the use of public transportation. At present, public transportation accounts for only 1 to 2% of commuters in Jeddah.

Foster + Partners declined to comment.



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