Jeddah Metro Company is expected to release request for proposals (RFPs) for three different packages for the planned rail network in the coming weeks.

The packages cover architecture and design; pre-project management and project management roles.

The metro company, which was set up in March as a joint venture between Jeddah Municipality and Jeddah Urban Development Company, is aiming to award the contracts before the end of 2013, according to a source familiar with the project.

Companies were invited to prequalify for these projects in June.

The metro will have three major lines. A 67-kilometre Orange Line will connect Mecca Road with Obhur, including 22 stations, and include a branch line that will run east along Sari Street.

The 24km Blue Line will contain 17 stations and will link King Abdulaziz International airport to the Old Airport Road. The Green Line will run alongside Palestine Road for 17km. It will also contain a branch line to the old airport at the end of the Haramain Railway, along with seven stations.

Approximately SR45bn ($7-8bn) has been budgeted for the Jeddah public transport plans, although it is likely that this budget will need to be increased.

The release of the Jeddah tenders follows the awarding of $22bn-worth of Riyadh metro construction contracts in late July.