JEDDAH- The Saudi government has signed a SR 276 million project with a French firm to provide preliminary engineering designs for its public transport metro project in Jeddah .

According to Arab News Saturday, the agreement was signed with the company Systra for a period of 20 months, according to a local newspaper. The company would look at all previous plans and come up with a new one, according to reports.

Those present at the signing ceremony included Prince Mansour bin Miteb, minister of municipal and rural affairs, and member of the Jeddah transport higher committee, Jeddah Gov. Prince Mishaal bin Majed and Makkah Gov. Prince Mishaal bin Abdullah, president of the Jeddah transport higher committee.

After signing the contract , Prince Mishaal thanked Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and Crown Prince Salman for supporting the project and helping to improve the lives of citizens.

He urged the consultancy firm to make every effort to provide the best designs for the metro , to meet the aspirations of the country's leadership. He also thanked Prince Mansour for his efforts in following up on this vital project and ensuring that other important projects in Makkah run according to plan.

Prince Mishaal said the project would be one of the most important in the country because it would improve public transport for the people and reduce congestion on the city's roads.