The long-awaited underground train system of the holy city of Mecca will start to work during this year’s Hajj season, but only at 33% capacity – it will be fully operational next year, as indicated by the Saudi authorities.
Some 1.7 million pilgrims will perform their Hajj this year, while more than 2.6 million pilgrims came to perform their Umrah over the past 8 months. The high number of visitors swarming to Mecca spurred the creation of a more efficient transportation system.
For more on Mecca’s infrastructure, see:
- New Road Contracts in Mecca
- Saudi Allocates Further Funds for Mecca Metro
- Mecca Creates SAR 2.4B Solar Project
- $16.5 Billion in Mecca Transport Improvements
The metro project aims to relieve congestion on the road of the sacred city. The project cost of the four subway lines was estimated at about USD16.5 billion. The city has been undergoing projects to improve many of its facilities in order to properly accommodate the many pilgrims, not only transportation.
The expansion of the Mataf (Tawaf area) was launched earlier this year, which will increase the crowd capacity from 52,000 to 130,000 pilgrims.
In the meantime, a solar energy lighting project has been proposed, which should enable Saudi Arabia to produce a third of its electricity from solar energy by 2032.