Saudi Arabian alliance with France wins metro bus deal

Bus SaptcoThe deal involves the maintenance and operation of buses in Riyadh. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)Saudi Public Transport Co (Saptco) and its alliance with France's RATP Dev has jointly secured a US$2.09bn contract to operate and maintain buses in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh

The 10-year deal will be linked to the city's railway project - known as the King Abdulaziz Project for Public Transport - and will handle the procurement, operation and maintenance of the buses, Saptco said in a statement.

Saptco and France's Regie Autonome des Transports Parisiens (RATP) in January 2010 had signed a strategic partnership to develop the public transport system in Saudi Arabia, including a tramway and metro system.

In July 2013, the Saudi government had awarded US$22.5bn in contracts to three foreign-led consortia in July last year for the design and construction of the first metro rail system in Riyadh.

The metro aims to help ease traffic congestion in the capital, a city of six million people, with a six-line network across Riyadh and serving the airport.

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