Mass Transit System is Key Driver for Riyadh’s Urban Mobility

Mass Transit System is Key Driver for Riyadh’s Urban Mobility
Mass Transit System is Key Driver for Riyadh’s Urban Mobility

Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh are ranked within the top 50 cities in the Urban Mobility Readiness Index 2020: The Next Chapter of Mobility Ecosystems, according to new research by the Oliver Wyman Forum.

The index, released by Oliver Wyman and The Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Berkeley highlights how cities are amending their urban mobility strategies which have become essential to mitigating and adapting to the economic and societal implications of the global pandemic COVID-19.

Commenting on the index, Anshu Vats, Senior Partner and Global Public Sector and Policy Practice Lead at Oliver Wyman, said: “There is evidence that these cities are addressing critical mobility issues that have surfaced throughout the past few months. Such progress has allowed Dubai and Riyadh to maintain their positions as leading cities in urban mobility, while Abu Dhabi has appeared on the index for the first time.”

Analysed across 43 metrics, including regulation, infrastructure, social impact, and the ability to adapt future technologies, the index brings to light some of the key strengths and challenges of the region’s urban mobility strategies.

Mass Transit System is Key Driver for Riyadh’s Urban Mobility

For example, Riyadh’s mass transit system is powering through as the country is finalising the construction of its new mass transportation infrastructure. With its six metro lines and 85 stations across 176 km, it will be the world’s longest driverless transport network. The system will also feature 80 bus routes, covering 1,900 km and 3,000 stations and stops. Utilizing both buses and a driverless metro, multimodality is a guiding principle for the system.

The index highlighted Dubai’s efforts to remain one of the leading countries in urban mobility, gaining momentum with increased interest geared towards the creation of accessible, resilient and communicative cities. According to the index, some strides taken by Dubai include significant investments in urban air mobility, like testing air taxis and drones.

Abu Dhabi, meanwhile, has been acclaimed for its road system. According to the index, Abu Dhabi’s roads offer some of the UAE’s highest-quality, well-connected road networks that have the capacity to support current demand with little traffic. Abu Dhabi is also noted for its extensive camera network and strict enforcement of traffic laws. Embracing safety and citizen well-being, the city is implementing a speed management strategy to further curb road traffic accidents in the Emirate.

Anshu Vats added, “With the comprehensive planning and development of the Gulf’s urban mobility strategies, the region will have a richer portfolio of mobility options and infrastructure systems making them more resilient in the face of crisis. Now more than ever the safety resilience of transportation systems has become critical, with regional governments taking action to support the infrastructure, ensuring citizen-wellbeing remains at the heart of building strong communities.”

The Urban Mobility Index was launched at a virtual event titled “The Future of Urban Mobility” which featured discussions among global leaders from industry, technology, academia, finance, and non-governmental organizations on ways to address the complex challenges posed by the global mobility revolution.

According to the index, European cities remain dominant with Amsterdam, London, Helsinki, Berlin and Paris ranking at the top. These cities rely mostly on mass transit, are easily walkable, and prioritize clean mobility as well as safety. They also work closely with local academic institutions and are well-connected regionally and internationally with various air and rail transportation networks.

For further details on the Urban Mobility Index and city strengths and challenges, please visit