Posted by: Barrak Al-Babtain | February 21, 2011

Kuwait Metro: New Map

Click image to enlarge (a bit)

I was just sent the redesigned plan for Kuwait Metro. I spoke to some people at KOTU and they confirmed that the metro lines are correct, but they have no idea about the tram lines; they seem to think that those aren’t very feasible and don’t know who added them to this map.

I think these latest changes are pretty great. Some thoughts:

  • No more stupid Gulf Road metro line. A major part of the original design was a line going from Salwa/Fahaheel all the way to Sharq along the coast. Imagine the sea-view in Kuwait being obstructed by an elevated railway. This is now only the case around Belajat Street, which makes sense because that area is already pretty dense.
  • Damascus Street! I’m still not sure how I feel about this, because I can’t be totally unbiased. Qortuba has 3 stations surrounding it! They’re really trying to make me happy. I don’t know how effective the Damascus line would be, though. It won’t work unless the areas undergo a complete ‘walkable street’ transformation with safer sidewalks, pedestrian bridges, bike lanes and shaded streets. As it is, I don’t see it working. The tram lines make a lot of sense to me. I could park my car/bike in the co-op, take the tram to the station and then go anywhere. I’m not sure they can work on some of the existing narrow streets, but it would make the Damascus line much more effective.
  • I’m not sure if Hawalli and Salmiya have been fully served. A lot of very dense areas don’t have a close enough metro stop.
  • They make the distinction between Park and Ride stations and simple metro stops (look for the grey ones).
  • Overall, it seems like a major shift has been made in order to make the Metro geared towards Kuwaitis living in the residential areas between 1st and 5th ring road, and away from the denser parts of Salmiya and Hawalli. I’m not sure if this was a good decision, as I doubt the residential areas will be allowed to increase their density anytime in the future. Salmiya and Hawalli residents, if given the option for a car free lifestyle, have a lot more room (politically and legally) to grow and densify even further.

The diagram I made below shows a 5 and 15 minute walk radius from every metro station. 15 minutes is a long time to walk in the summer, so looking only at the smaller 5 minute circles shows that the vast majority of the dense areas of Kuwait (except for the City) are very underserved. The relatively lower density residential areas (Nuzha, Faiha, etc) are easily accesible by comparison, which makes no sense.

Update: I don’t see why the Damascus line can’t just be a Bus Rapid Transit line, since it’s already on a pretty wide road. BRT is a dedicated lane for specialized buses driving back and forth on a fixed schedule.


Responses

  1. Dear Mr Barrak, do you have a clearer high res image of the map? I cannot make out my area in this map. Thanks.

  2. +1 on the higher res. map.

    Awesome work! Keep it up!

  3. You can click on the image to make it a little bigger, but that’s the only resolution I have. Still, a higher res image won’t add much since it seems that the stations are more an indication of their location and not something that’s set in stone (look at The Avenues, for example. The ‘dot’ seems to be in Yarmouk!)

  4. A HUGE concentration of people of all nationalities and means are in South Kuwait. Abu Halifa, Mahboula, Mangaf and Fahaheel. This new map misses them out completely, and they (including myself) would have to drive in to Messila to take the train. Silly if you ask me.

  5. Hey, do you know when this will actually be completed or even started on?! Because we’ve been talking about building a metro for years, if not decades now. I feel like its same old same old. Do we really have a motive to think otherwise this time?

    Thanks,

    Hameed

    • Hameed, yeah I’ve seen a rendering from the 60s with a monorail in it. It’s not a new proposal, but it’s very real now. It’s in the state budget and a LOT of money has already been spent. It’s almost certain that it’s going to be attempted, the question is when. I think the plan is for it to be ready by 2017, which sounds realistic.

  6. Hi this is my firstly ever comment in this amazing blog.

    and what i want to say is that this cannot be the official metro map because it has a lot of mistakes, just see it closely you will notice that there is no lines colors which is wrong. its not a cost efficient, you can see the area in Hawalli how there is no since of a good distribution !! and where is the airport station !!

    ABX

  7. abx7x, the Airport station is right at the bottom, almost out of frame. I’m not sure what you mean by colors, but I think you mean there’s not an easy to identify ‘Blue Line’ or whatever that you can point to and know which stations are on it’s line.

    I think the reason for that is that at some points maybe you have two lines running in parallel.

  8. I agree, although we highly need a metro station in kuwait and the sound of it itself may seem amazing, however; Im sure it’ll take so long for it to be done! Good for who ever’s in charge to start with it though! Thanks for sharing such an amazing post barrak !;)

  9. The idea having a metro system is awesome. However, they have to make sure that every single area is well-served otherwise e7na elleee bnakelha la2anna 7arna ma y3’ashmer.

    tslam 3al post =)


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