Bahrain seeks partners to build a driverless metro network

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Bahrain is all set to begin the procurement process towards the construction of its driverless metro system which will connect the country’s new international airport in Muharraq with residential areas.

The project which is expected to commence in early March will be similar to the automated rapid-speed Metro system in Dubai and is part of a $32 billion investment into Bahrain’s infrastructure.

A virtual forum scheduled for the first week of March will introduce potential investors to the Metro project to revolutionize Manama’s public transport network, which is planned to be operational by 2027.

Updating on the progress of work, Mr. Kamal bin Ahmed Mohamed, Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications commented that “We have been working in full force on a complete transportation infrastructure improvement strategy covering land, air, and sea. This will support and drive the kingdom’s economic development and serve our citizens, residents, and visitors”.

The Metro project is the latest in a long line of large-scale projects in Bahrain that aim to transform the transportation, industrial, hospitality, and retail sectors through public and private investments. It involves an investment of $7.5 billion in the sectors of manufacturing, energy, healthcare, and education.

Meanwhile, government holding firms will spend more than $10 billion in aluminum, oil, and gas sectors. Work on the $4 billion King Hamad Causeway project is also expected to begin.

Ambitious Plans

Phase one of the ambitious project for the Metro network involves two-line with an estimated length of 28.6 Kms. Twenty stations with two interchanges will be placed. The two lines aim to connect the main transit points, including Bahrain International Airport as well as major residential areas, commercial areas, and school districts across the country.

On completion, the system will have a capacity to transport 43,000 passengers per hour. The new $1.1 billion terminals at Bahrain International Airport opened their doors at the end of January, raising annual capacity by 14 million passengers.

The airport offers travelers a ‘contactless’ journey, with 104 check-in counters, 24 security screening points, and 36 passport control stations.

Related: UAE-Israeli consortium in merger talks with Bahrain’s BFC Group