The Council of Ministers approved the decision No. 373 dated in 15/11/1433 AH to establish an authority for public transport with financial and administrative independence. The authority will be responsible for regulating and supervising the public transport services and present them with an excellent quality and suitable cost for passengers within and between the cities. And encourage the investment in these services in a way that is adequate to the economic and social development objectives in the Kingdom. Also, implement public transport plans in all of the Kingdom's regions and ensure the availability of funding from various sources. As well as identifying the network of public transport lines, routes and the sites of their facilities, setting the specifications of the public transport means, granting licenses and permits, proposing a mechanism to regulate public transport wages, and providing suitable conditions to draw investments in this field.
The ministry is occupied with developing and improving the public transport and conducted many studies in that matter. Each study consisted of three stages, first: the preparatory study, where analyzing the demand and the development of solutions and their alternatives, then select the optimal. The second stage includes the study of the proposed system design. This study includes the feasibility study for the proposed system, the initial design, and preparation of the competition documents in preparation for implementing and operating the public transport system in every city.
The study was implemented in the following cities:
1- Riyadh: The Council of Ministers approved the implementation of all the all stages of the public transport project (trains and buses) according to the studies prepared by the High Commission for the Development of Riyadh with the participation of the competent authorities. A committee was established under the chairmanship of His Highness Governor of Riyadh Region, The Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs, the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Transport to oversee the implementation of the project during four years from its date.
2- Makkah: The Supreme Decree No. 45268 dated in 7/10/1433 AH that gave the order to implement the public transport network in the city of Makkah under the supervision of the High Commission for the Development of Makkah. The Ministry is responsible for issuing operating licenses for the companies there.
3- Madinah: The necessary procedures are being taken to move to the public transport network initial design stage in coordination with the High Commission for the Development of Medina.
4- Jeddah: The study of the development of public transport services in Jeddah was completed. The study concluded that the use of light rail transport systems on three primary locations with two-way buses to reach the rest of the regions.
Jazan: One of the objectives of developing transport services in Jazan is to link (Jazan - Sabya - Abu `Arish) with advanced means of transportation. The first phase of this study was completed, and the ministry started the initial design.
The other cities such as Buraidah, Abha, Taif, Khamis Mushait, Ahad Rafidah, Hofuf, Hail, Dammam, Khobar, Dhahran, and Qatif are the cities where the study of the public transport services development completed and the proposed system design is undergoing.
The Ministry has also conducted a series of studies related to the development of public transport, including:
• Study of developing the public transportation between the cities of the Kingdom: This study was conducted after the completion of the Saudi Public Transport Company privilege. The purpose of which was to develop a method of concluding contracts and overseeing the functioning of transport services by opening the competition to the carriers in the private sector. The study was conducted in three stages: assessing the potential demand for the intercity bus services, evaluating the most appropriate way to apply concession contracts on lanes and roads, and the third stage is operating contracts. The conclusive results have been submitted to the Supreme Economic Council.
• Study of the development of public taxicab services: This study aimed to increase the quality of public taxicab services provided by companies and individuals within and between the cities, by assessing the current situation, review the regulations, take advantage of international experiences and modern techniques and then propose appropriate solutions. The primary outcomes of this study were the amendment to the law governing the public taxicab activity, reducing the special tariffs and the use of vehicle tracking technology, as well as the establishment of a communication center to reduce the random roaming of public taxicabs.
• Study of the development of public transportation centers: a consulting office prepared an integrated guide containing the planning and design standards to establish the public transport centers. It also includes the guidelines and the procedures that help finance, operate and manage these centers by the private sector. This study consists of three stages: review previous studies and analyze the current situation, study and analyze similar successful experiments, and prepare and develop the regulatory framework and procedures. The three stages of the study were completed, and the manual was reviewed, and currently, there is an integrated center for public transport established and operated by the private sector in Riyadh.
• Study of the development of track and directing road transport vehicles (for passengers and goods): This study was carried out for the supervisory and regulatory role that the ministry of transport has in the transportation sector, and the benefits of vehicle tracking techniques for the operators, the beneficiaries and to the community in general. This study recommended the use of Vehicle Tracking System (AVL) by positioning technology (GPS) as the best system available. It also recommended the establishment of the main control center within the Ministry as well as regional control centers in the rest of the Kingdom. The Ministry is currently taking the necessary measures in coordination with the relevant authorities in preparation for obligating the carriers to use vehicle tracking technology according to a specific timetable.