The Saudi government has approved SR62bn ($16.5bn) of spending to overhaul Mecca’s transport network.

The plans include developing a bus and metro networks, and will be developed in three phases. The budget allocated for the first phase is SR25.5bn, and it will be carried out over the next three years. The second phase will cost SR19bn and will take a further five years. The third and final stage will take two years to complete for a cost of SR17.5bn.

The Mecca Mass Rail Transit (MMRT) scheme, will have four metro lines with a total length of 182 kilometres. It will have 88 stations and will integrate with other rail projects serving the city. Ernst & Young and law firm Ashurst, both from the UK, are the transaction advisers on the scheme.

The bus network will have a total length of 123km, and will have 147 stations, covering major highways and smaller local roads.

In January, Mecca Municipality said it is still carrying out studies for its proposed MMRT project.