Transit-supportive strategies for a successful new public transportation system in Riyadh

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Alhedr, Turki Mohammed
Kelly, Eric D.
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Thesis (M.U.R.P.)
Department of Urban Planning
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Public transportation is a very important element of any city and a necessity in metropolises. In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital and largest city with a population of more than five million, the government realized the pressing need for a comprehensive public transportation system. In 2012 the $22 billion King Abdulaziz Project for Riyadh Public Transport was announced. However, most public transit systems throughout the world are losing their competition with private vehicles and are thus operating at a loss. Riyadh’s new system will likely face additional difficulties due to special challenges such as the extreme hot weather and the socially conservative culture. Using a qualitative approach through reviewing the literature, examining governmental studies and academic researches, and studying real-life examples in case studies from different cities around the world, this research identifies the most effective pro-transit strategies that can help Riyadh’s new public transportation project be successful. While the recommended strategies were categorized as either system-related or complementary external strategies, more focus was put on the second group because of its greater importance and the less attention it receives.