Saudi Arabia places order to introduce smart services on buses in Makkah
Saudi Arabia is ordering new smart technology to improve transportation services for pilgrims in Makkah.
Japan-based information technology firm NEC confirmed in a statement it has received a purchase order from the kingdom for an Intelligent Transportation System (ITS).
ITS offers an accurate scheduling service and an automated fare collection system, which utilizes IC cards to enable cashless, accurate and reliable fare collection, as well as a bus location management via GPS, it said.
Also, the smart system provides bus information to passengers through solar powered displays installed at bus stops and mobile applications.
The system will cover 400 buses next year, with a plan to increase the number to 2,000 buses over the following five years.
According to Saudi Transport Minister Nabil al-Amoudi, "7,400 planes full of pilgrims arrived this year via Jeddah and Madinah airports" and "more than 18,000 buses were mobilised" for the hajj.
For the sites around Makkah, transport during hajj remains chaotic.