Construction projects to be part of Oman bus plans

Main stations, satellite stations, maintenance workshops to be built

Oman aims to develop an international bus service.
Oman aims to develop an international bus service.

Oman has revealed plans to evolve into an international-class bus operator in the coming decades, which will require widespread construction of supporting infrastructure such as stations and maintenance workshops.

Government-owned operator Oman National Transport Company SAOC is preparing to commission a master-plan study that will detail how the company can establish a successful bus transportation system in the coming years.

An international consultant is currently assisting the company in the preparation of tender documents, which are due to be floated before the end of this month, according to CEO Saleh al Badi.

“We are being very meticulous in ensuring that the master-plan study will eventually deliver our company’s objectives, as well as the strategic goals set out by our owner, the Government of Oman, represented by the Ministry of Finance,” Al Badi told Oman Daily Observer.

“The tender documents are being structured with a view to attracting global renowned players and suppliers to the Oman market. Furthermore, the master-plan will be conceived and formulated keeping in mind ONTC’s integration with other modes of transportation overseen by other stakeholders, such as the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Muscat Municipality, Supreme Council for Planning and so on. By consulting and coordinating with our fellow stakeholders, we wish to ensure there is not duplication or under utilisation of resources.”

According to the official, the proposed master-plan will have three broad objectives. The first is to set out a strategy and road map for the progressive rollout of ONTC’s bus transportation services, initially across Muscat, and gradually across the rest of the country. Secondly, it will feature several options for funding ONTC’s fleet and network expansion plans, financing models and avenues for finance, and so on. Finally, the master-plan will identify its future requirements of land for the establishment of support infrastructure such as main stations, satellite stations, maintenance workshops and related facilities.

All of the proposals incorporated into the master-plan will be compiled keeping international best practices and standards in mind, the CEO stressed, adding that an award is likely by the first quarter of 2015.

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