Jeddah Municipality is considering how it can restructure the way it manages its transport network.

With the Saudi city looking to follow the example of Riyadh and build its own metro system, the authorities are reviewing how best to manage the plans.

One option under consideration is to set up a separate dedicated body that would oversee all the city’s current and planned transport networks, including roads, water taxis and the metro development.

Jeddah will be aiming to establish a new authority before it issues tenders for its new metro system. Tenders are expected to be released by the second quarter of 2013.

Preliminary design work on the metro is nearing completion, with the concept design plans due to be released in Q2 of this year. French firm Egis Rail is carrying out 30 per cent of the design work.

The Saudi Ministry of Finance has already approved the $8.5-10bn-worth of financing required for the metro project. Jeddah municipality now needs to prove to the government they have an effective means to manage the project, before the financing is released.

The early discussions seen in Jeddah reflect wider discussions in Saudi Arabia about how all its rail projects, both mainline and metro, will be managed.

Some GCC countries have already established transport bodies to oversee their expanding range of projects such as Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA).

Elsewhere in the region, countries are reviewing the management of transport projects. In early January, Oman set up a new railway authority to oversee its planned railway networks, after it decided to retender its national railway project in mid-2012.