Kuwait signed an $8 million contract with Ernst and Young to provide “consultancy services” for the Metro project. It’s weird, because E&Y are an auditor, as far as I know, and they’re not really the first name one thinks of for master-planning expertise and designing mega-infrastructure projects. Anyway, the press release for the signing ceremony, which was held last Thursday, had some interesting bits of information:
KUWAIT, Oct 21 (KUNA) — Kuwait signed on Thursday a KD 2.280 million contract with a renowned international company for consultancy services for the planned state mega project , the metro.
The signing ceremony, involving the national technical agency for studying development projects and initiatives and Ernst and Young Company, held at the Finance Ministry headquarters, was attended by Minister Mustafa Al-Shimali, Minister of Communications and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Dr. Mohammad Al-Busairi, and Minister of State of Municipal Affairs Dr. Fahdel Safar.
Speaking on sidelines of the ceremony, Dr. Safar said the metro project had been approved after extensive consultations with international agencies, adding that the service would be linked up with the buses’ transports, covering dense residential regions and minimizing usage of personal vehicles. The air-conditioned metro will run on “green energy,” he added.
For his part, Al-Busairi revealed that the cabinet legal affairs committee has recently discussed establishment of a public transportation authority to supervise establishment of a single network, combining the metro and bus services. Adding, he stressed the necessity of ensuring integration of this sector’s services. He also indicated that an aspired project would also incorporate the railway network, the telephone and post services. Adel Al-Roumi, the head of the technical agency, said the metro project would be a grand development accomplishment.
The project is designed to link up the southern and northern regions of the country and resolve the traffic congestion problem that worsens during the winter season. – Kuna
Having the bus service and Metro be under one authority is a great idea. That way they can easily coordinate with each other towards a single vision for public transportation. It seems they’re going to follow Dubai’s lead in having hard to access but dense areas be funneled by buses, which would collect all the people and basically deliver them to the nearest Metro station. That worries me a bit because it seems to indicate that the Metro would just follow the highways, as with Dubai, and not really provide a catalyst for urban development and walkability. I hope i’m wrong. There’s an advantage to it following the highways, obviously (it’s easier and cheaper), but that kind of misses the point and the unique opportunities that a rapid transit system can offer.