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2019 - RATP Group activity report - City log

Riyadh, a major greenfield project

Saudi Arabia has set itself a monumental challenge: to build a brand-new, latest-generation multimodal network from scratch in a country where the car is king.


Building a multimodal network from scratch

In Riyadh, a dearth of public transport options and a fast-growing population mean that people rely on their cars to get around – and pollution is a major concern. As part of the Saudi Vision 2030 economic modernisation plan, the city authority and the Royal Commission for Riyadh, the local transport authority, have embarked on a vast programme of transformation works, with support from a leading partner in the shape of RATP Dev. Our subsidiary has formed two joint-ventures with its Saudi partner SAPTCO: Capital Metro Company (CAMCO) for the metro network, and Public Transportation Company (PTC) for the bus network. Under the arrangement, we are putting our extensive expertise in mass transit and customer relationship management to work for Riyadh.


The project in Riyadh is unprecedented in scale and timing – building a multimodal public transport network from scratch by the end of 2020. The plans include an 85-station automated metro network featuring 176 km of lines, and serving the majority of the city’s most densely populated neighbourhoods, as well as amenities and healthcare facilities, schools and universities, and shopping centres. Building the metro – for which CAMCO will operate the blue and red lines – from scratch required a rethink of urban planning and substantial new infrastructure for mainly above-ground lines. There will also be 80 bus routes serving some 3,000 stops to increase coverage and allow passengers to connect with the underground network.

7,1 Riyadh’s population grew from 5.2 million in 2010 to 7.1 million in 2019
76 A plan including an 85-station automated metro network,
3,000 stops served by 80 bus routes.

A multimodal network

Operated by a fleet of 1,000 ultra-modern buses, the project is the most ambitious of its kind ever undertaken, with advanced ticketing and passenger information systems, as well as premium customer service. These extra touches are designed to make public transport more appealing to local residents and persuade them to leave their car at home.

Riyadh is a sprawling city covering an area of 1,913 km2 – 20 times the size of central Paris. The new metro system, much of which will be above-ground, will profoundly alter the cityscape and herald a major shift from private car to public transport use.


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