Riyadh’s plans to build a $3bn metro network for the city have not been included in the kingdom’s budget for 2012.

It is unclear why the metro has been left out of the budget, because Riyadh is keen to reduce congestion on the city’s roads. It is the third time the project has not been included in the kingdom’s budget.

The Finance Ministry said in December 2011 that it planned to spend a total of SR690bn ($184bn) on projects in 2012.

The client on the project is Arriyadh Development Authority. The project had been earmarked to be funded by the Public Investment Fund which is already funding the $7.9bn Haramain high-speed railway project. It is also unclear whether the project will be handed over to the fund.

The metro network was planned to have two lines. The first line would run 25-kilometres from north-south with 23 stations and line two would be 14km long, stretching east to west across Riyadh with 13 stations.

The consultancy team working on the project includes Beirut-based Dar al-Handasah and France’s Egis Rail.

Saudi Arabia is progressing well on its other rail schemes and plans to award $14bn-worth of rail contracts in 2012. These deals include the Ras al-Khair-Dammam railway, project mangement consultancy and design contracts for the $7bn Landbridge and possible progress on the planned Mecca Mass Rail Transit project.