The Mecca Municipality has invited firms to bid for the contract to provide project management office consultancy (PMOC) for the proposed Mecca public transport programme (MPTP).

Consultants have until 2 March to submit bids for the project management deal, which will involve overseeing the proposed SR60bn ($16.5bn) transport programme. At the heart of the transport masterplan is the planned Mecca mass rail transit project (MMRT), which will comprise of four rail lines, 88 stations and more than 180km of track.

The proposed first line will run from Al-Laith road to Al-Sail road, passing north of Al-Haram. The second line will run from Al-Jamarat station to the Mecca-Jeddah Expressway, passing north of Al-Haram.

The third line will go from Al-Medina Road to Umm al-Quar University, passing West and South of Al-Haram. The fourth line will go from Jeddah to Mecca Road to Ibrahim Khaleel Road, which will past west of Al-Haram.

The MMRT feasibility study was prepared by a joint venture of France’s Systra and the US-based Aecom. They were appointed as consultants in April 2012. The rail project was originally planned to be developed on a public-private partnership (PPP) basis, but in December MEED reported that the kingdom had dropped plans to procure the scheme through PPP.

Mecca’s transport programme will also contain a bus network, which will have a total length of 123km, and will have 147 stations, covering major highways and smaller local roads

 Mecca has a population of about 1.5 million, and accommodates 2.5 million Hajj pilgrims and another 2.8 million Umrah visitors annually.  Mecca Municipality is the client on the transport programme, acting through its development arm Al-Balad Alameen.

Riyadh is also planning to develop a comprehensive transport system, the Public Transport Project (PTP), which will include a six-line metro project and rapid transit bus service.

The client, the local Arriyadh Development Authority (ADA), prequalified four consortiums in 2012 and has set a submission date of 20 February for the five main construction contracts on the estimated $7bn-8bn metro scheme.

According to sources in Riyadh, the client has appointed the US’ CH2M Hill as the project management office (PMO) and the firm is currently preparing to issue tender documents for the PMC work on the rail scheme.