Covid-19 Impacts on Public Transport - Saudi Arabia

  • operating timeframe: 31 May – present
  • Reduced operating hours: 6:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Precautionary measures:
    • Max. occupancy: 50%
    • Social distancing: 1.5m

Following government directives, all public transport services including bus and taxi services as well as intercity train services had been fully shut down since 16 March in Saudi Arabia. Ferry services remained partially available.

As of 31 May, new guidelines allow for the partial resumption of public transport services between 6am-8pm while adhering to certain safety instructions.

With a maximum capacity of 50% per vehicles within cities and social distancing of 1.5 meters, bus, taxi and train services are allowed to restart services.

With the pandemic and ensuing lockdown strongly affecting the public transport sector, the Transport General Authority (TGA) has responded with a number of initiatives to support the sector including:


  • Extending the validity of taxi and bus vehicle operating cards
  • Extending the deadline for the implementation of the new taxi regulations
  • Subsidizing 60% of the salaries of Saudi taxi and bus drivers for 3 months
  • Postponing taxi and bus fine issuance and renewal
  • Providing permits for bus and taxi providers to work at the airport
  • Postponing the maintenance inspection renewal and issuance for bus and taxi
  • Providing taxi drivers with permits to work for e-hailing providers
  • Providing taxi drivers with permits to work for delivery services

TGA has also provided direct subsidies to individual drivers in the taxi, bus and e-hailing sectors.