France’s Egis Rail has completed the feasibility studies for the planned Jeddah light rail transit (LRT) network.

The feasibility study is the first stage of the project and Egis is now waiting for approval from Jeddah Municipality and Saudi Arabia’s Transport Ministry.

Jeddah Municipality and the Transport Ministry are currently reviewing the feasibility studies before the project can advance to the next stage, which will be the preliminary stage.

The Jeddah LRT network will be 70 kilometres and will consist of three lines when complete.

The LRT is part of the $5.6bn investment in Jeddah’s public transport system that the kingdom’s Transport Ministry announced in May 2010 (MEED 27:5:10).

That investment will also involve the development of a monorail, bus network and a tramway that will link Jeddah’s residential districts. The development of transport networks is needed to reduce the heavy congestion in Jeddah city.

The kingdom is also planning a similar scheme in Mecca. On 8 March, the UK’s Ernst & Young, together with law firm Ashurst, were appointed transaction advisers on the Mecca Mass Rail Transit (MMRT) project.

The project is being developed by Al-Balad Alameen, the development arm of Mecca Municipality. The MMRT project will consist of four lines and will run for about 113km around Mecca city centre with about 24 stations.