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Al-Mashaer Train transports over 2m pilgrims: PTA

Saudi Arabia, September 6, 2017

The number of pilgrims who used the Al-Mashaer Train during this year’s Haj totaled 2,041,000, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported quoting the Vice President of the Public Transport Authority (PTA) Muhammad Fahd Al-Shibrimi as saying Wednesday.

The pilgrims were transported with high efficiency on board 1,779 actual trips, exceeding the 1,599 trips targeted by the Al-Mashaer Train operation plan for the 1438H Haj season. This was due to the collective efforts of all the authorities participating in the Haj. These included the Makkah Development Authority, Installations Security Forces, Civil Defense and Saudi Red Crescent Authority, he said.

Highlighting the role of the PTA, Al-Shibrimi said its role in the Al-Mashaer Train included participation in the train operation supervision and management and following up the performance and plans of the Al-Mashaer Train operator during the 2017 Haj. This comes within the PTA’s organizational and supervisory role.

He said that the operation plan for the Al-Mashaer Train has been divided into five stages; A,B,C,D and E.

In Stage A of the plan, an ordinary metro was used. It stopped at all the stations on the 7th and 8th of Dhul Hijja. The number of targeted trips was 224 while the actual trips reached 228.

Stage B involved the transportation of pilgrims from Mina 1, 2 and 3 and Muzdalifah 3 to Arafat on the 8th and 9th of Dhul Hijja. The target was 232 trips, but the actual trips reached 272 and the number of transported pilgrims reached 334,000.

Stage C of the plan involved transporting the pilgrims from Arafat to Muzdalifah on the 9th and 10th of Dhul Hijja. The target was 120 trips but the actual trips reached 126. Some 347,000 pilgrims were transported from Arafat to Muzdalifah on these trips.

As to Stage D, it was allocated for transporting the pilgrims from Muzdalifah to Mina and the Jamarat on the 10th of Dhul Hijja. The targeted number of trips was 123, but the Al-Mashaer Train operation team succeeded in making 133 trips that carried 260,000 pilgrims.

Al-Shibrimi said Stage E was allocated for the metro between Arafat 3 and Muzdalifah 3 and Mina 1, 2, and 3 (Jamarat Bridge) on the 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th of Dhul Hijja. The Mashaer Train operation team was able to transport 1.1 million pilgrims on 1,020 trips when the number of targeted trips was 900.

Al-Shibrimi stressed that the huge efforts exerted by the Makkah Development Authority in the operation and management of the Al-Mashaer Train, apart from the security authorities including the Installations Security Forces, Civil Defense and other agencies like the operating company and the Saudi Red Crescent Authority had a great effect in providing reliable services for transporting the pilgrims in all parts of the holy sites.

He added that there was close coordination between all the security authorities and the PTA. This had a positive effect in the streamlined and smooth movement of pilgrims between all the holy sites. A safe and world standard mode of transport, the Mashaer Train, was at the disposal of the pilgrims. This facilitated the movement of millions of pilgrims within a short time.

In another development, the Director General of Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) Saleh Bin Nasser Al-Jasser made an inspection tour of the Haj Terminal at King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) on Tuesday to check the second day operation of Haj flights. He met with the teams assigned to serve the pilgrims and thanked them for their efforts. He urged them to exert more efforts in serving the pilgrims.

He urged them to bolster the success made by Saudia’s arrival operations, with a 40 percent increase in the number of pilgrims to be transported compared to last year.

Al-Jasser said Saudia has taken measures that have contributed to facilitating and streamlining the departure procedures for pilgrims.

Saudia is continuing operating its domestic and international flights for the third day smoothly despite the large number of passengers, as this period coincides with the grouping of pilgrims for departure after completing their Haj rites, Eid Al-Adha holiday and the end of the summer vacation.