The Saudi city of Medina, home to Islam’s second holiest site, is set to get a bus rapid transit (BRT) service as part of efforts to boost the public transport system serving the city’s residents and visitors.
The new service is one of the projects being developed by the Medina Region Development Authority in partnership with the private sector.
Environmentally friendly buses will ply on two main tracks which are 52 kilometres long in total.
With 33 stations, the BRT service is envisaged to have a capacity of 1,800 passengers per hour.
The first line will have 22 bus stops including one to serve worshippers at the Prophet’s Mosque, Islam’s second holiest site, and another connecting with the high-speed Haramein train.
The second line, running for 16 kilometres, will have 11 bus stops.
After undertaking rites of Umrah or minor pilgrimage at the Grand Mosque, Islam’s holiest site in Mecca, many pilgrims would flock to the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina to pray and visit Al Rawdah Al Sharifa where the tomb of the Prophet Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him) is located.
Saudi Arabia expects around 10 million Muslims from abroad to do Umrah during the current season.
The Umrah season began more than three months ago after the end of annual Islamic Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia that around 1.8 million Muslims attended for the first time in three years after pandemic-related restrictions were lifted.
Muslims, who cannot physically or financially afford Hajj, go to Saudi Arabia to undertake Umrah.