Saudi Arabia to restructure public transport system, regulate fares

Students, senior citizens and disabled persons will be eligible for 50 percent concession on ticket fares for bus and train travel according to new regulations the Public Transport Authority is planning to introduce.

By Abdulrahman Al-Misbahi

Okaz/Saudi Gazette

Saudi Arabia's Public Transport Authority (PTA) is planning to fix fares for inter-city travel as well as travel within cities as part of a move to restructure the public transport system in the country.

The authority will determine the cost of train and bus tickets as well as the taxi fare.

It said the fixed rates would apply not only to major cities with a population exceeding one million but also to medium and small cities.

It said a minimum rate would be fixed for short distance travel while the rates for long trips would be determined based on the distance traveled.

The PTA has proposed that the cost of daily commute should not exceed 5 percent of a family’s daily average income while it should not exceed 10 percent of income when traveling long distances in trips from small cities and suburban areas.

Three types of tickets will be introduced, namely single trip tickets, low cost season tickets and family tickets.

A passenger will face a fine not exceeding 50 times the value of the ticket for not complying with the specified fares or traveling without tickets.

The PTA has proposed that economy class tickets for public transport within big, medium and small cities for travel by train and bus should be brought down.

Concessions for

eligible classes

A child below 6 years of age will travel free of charge. Students aged between 6 and 18 years, senior citizens above 60, disabled persons along with one companion and cancer patients with one bystander will receive a 50 percent fare concession.

Furthermore, the PTA added that the agency owning a public transport project has the right to reduce the fare further or add other eligible categories to benefit from reduced fares.

SR10 minimum

fare for taxis

The PTA has confirmed four avenues for the taxi service. There will be taxis for movement within cities and between cities, airport service, taxi service at public transport stations and the Makkah taxi.

The authority said the fare structure would be fixed incorporating a number of basic elements. It must include a minimum starting fare, fare per kilometer and the waiting charge per minute.

The authority has specified SR10 as the minimum fare for taxis. The taxi fares will differ depending on the day of the week. There will be separate classes of fares for the Friday-Saturday weekend and for weekdays (between 6:00 a.m. and midnight).