A glimpse on the main thoroughfares of Kuwait especially at it’s peak hours will give you a bird’s eye view of the present traffic issue. Thousands of commuters travel daily which obviously causes teeming of public highways.
Oil-rich Gulf state and progressive as globally known, Kuwait has a wide, clean and strategic roadmap but devoid of technology – the railway system. The pivotal question at this point to be asked is: Will the metro rail bring us to greener pasture? Considering the current traffic issue, definitely the fruition of the same will have a ripple effect in the daily lives of the society.
Hats off to the government of Kuwait for the planned innovative public transport system which is instituted to address an age-old issue of traffic congestion which can lead to a sustainable development in terms of economic and social growth, to with:
- Economic Overview:
- Railway is indubitably the safest and most reliable mode of transportation. It alleviates numerous cases of road casualties and littlest affected by weather conditions e.g. sand storms and extreme humidity;
- Fare will be easy on the pocket and the traveling public can reach their destinations quickly thereby avoiding wastage of time which they can still utilize for other purposes;
- Transporting of goods becomes easier, prompt and affordable as it arrives very timely and lower risk damages of the same such as the perishable ones and as a result, merchandise in the market will be economical and more products can be sold;
- Employment opportunity will be boosted, the metro management will be one of the major employers as they need a labor force to build, maintain and run the operation of the railway;
- Metro is doubtlessly commodious as it can carry a large number of commuters and commodities;
- Encouragement of the business sector to develop railway accessories such as train parts, locomotives and the like hence, a key to export the said products;
- Alleviate dependency to private transportation thence, reduction of traffic jams and mitigation of overcrowded public roads;
- Leading to ecologically sustainable mode of travel for the society. Railway is an environment-friendly mode of conveying passengers as it produces a low amount of emission.
- It will ease noise strain in the public highways thus, a precursor to a healthy environment;
- Can be considered a government austerity measure as the new mode of transportation will take the edge off towards road preservation costs such as equipments commonly used in road maintenance, wages paid to road laborers, reduction of law enforcement authorities present in public highways and the like; and lastly
- Establishment of railway is a contrivance to eradicate any threat to the country be it external or internal, e.g. locating a suspect of a crime can be easily facilitated.
- Social Focus:
- Promotion of tourism. It is easy to spend holidays and quick trips to the desired places as transportation is convenient, safe, reliable and economical;
- Increase passenger movement. People are encouraged to travel and visit different places such as finding a source of living or merely visiting family or friends; and
- Citizens are socialized thus avoiding interracial conflicts and orthodoxy.
Kuwait’s country-wide metro system otherwise known as Railroad and Rapid Transit System is strategically linked to several stations composing of a single integrated railway system which is said to have four (4) lines. The proposed metro plan are as follows:
“ first railroad covering 23.7 kilometers will start from Salwa area and end the station of Kuwait University, passing through 19 stations. The second railroad covering 21 kilometers will start from Hawally area and end at Kuwait City, passing through 27 stations. The third railroad covering 24 kilometers will start from the airport and end at Abdullah Al-Mubarak area, passing through 15 stations.
Line 1 is 23.7km long and will connect Kuwait’s southern metropolitan area with the centre of the city and the main university. The line will have 19 stations.
Line 2 will be 21km long, connecting the main business district with the residential areas of Salmiya and Hawally. The line will have 27 stations.
Line 3 will have 15 stations and will be 24km long.
Line 4 will be 22.7km long and will connect city centre with Kuwait International Airport. It will have 15 stations, serving residential areas and the Shuwaikh Industrial Zone”. (source: Kuwait Times, 2014 via Kuwait UpTo Date)
The landmark Kuwait metro is a part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), railway project which starts at Kuwait and ends at Muscat, Oman. The GCC state are independently planning cross country railway systems that in the end will lead to create infrastructure, diversify economy and certainly bring a dramatic advance among the aforementioned state.
The author is an ardent observer in the society, a former government legal advocate and a gastronomic gallivanter.
Written by: Mavic Mavz
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|Nejoud al Yagout