A CASE STUDY ON PERCEPTIONS OF PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION IN THE EASTERN PROVINCE OF SAUDI ARABIA

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Transport Problems

Silesian University of Technology

Subject: Economics, Transportation, Transportation Science & Technology

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VOLUME 15 , ISSUE 2 (June 2020) > List of articles

A CASE STUDY ON PERCEPTIONS OF PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION IN THE EASTERN PROVINCE OF SAUDI ARABIA

Helen Palmer PETERSON * / Zulfat AL KASSIM

Keywords : public transportation; air pollution; climate change; Saudi Arabia

Citation Information : Transport Problems. Volume 15, Issue 2, Pages 5-15, DOI: https://doi.org/10.21307/tp-2020-015

License : (CC BY 4.0)

Received Date : 16-March-2019 / Accepted: 01-June-2020 / Published Online: 18-June-2020

ARTICLE

ABSTRACT

The Eastern Province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is home to almost 5,000,000 people and is a major contributor to Saudi Arabia’s economic strength. The area has experienced population growth of about 3.5% per year and rapid urbanization over the past few decades. With this increase in population has come a significant escalation in automobile traffic, which, in turn, has contributed to poor air quality in the province. Two of the major cities in the area were listed on the World Health Organization’s 2016 top 15 cities with the worst air pollution. Local studies have shown that vehicle traffic is a significant contributor to poor air quality and thus, eventually, climate change. Public transportation could alleviate some of the pollution. Unfortunately, overall past perceptions of public transportation and its negative connotations within the Saudi Arabian cultural setting have discouraged previous attempts to develop public transit services. Currently, KSA is progressing with metro works in the capital city of Riyadh and is considering what services to offer in the Eastern Province. This research involved surveying over 800 Eastern Province residents to determine whether they would use public transportation if it was offered, and what type of service they would expect. The response was positive and provided initial indications that public transportation is needed and would be utilized.

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