Subscribe to SmallPlanet

We Need Your Help

Five stars on Amazon! Don't miss Talesmag's first book of essays, on cross-cultural food experiences from Mexico to Mongolia (plus recipes!)
Submit a Real Post Report

Riyadh



Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

There are no local trains or buses, and taxis were prohibited for us to use anywhere in the country, although when we were leaving the embassy was arranging for us to be able use Uber. In general, though, you will either have to rely on the embassy's motor pool or bring your own car. There are also embassy shuttles to supermarkets and such, but the "system" for pickup to get home seemed pretty poor to me. One important note is that while we were there, some restrictions had been imposed on mens' use of the motor pool since they're able to drive in Saudi Arabia. At that point in time there was a push to get new arrivals to bring their own cars. Quite frankly, the drivers are crazy and dangerous in Riyadh, so I could understand why even men wouldn't want to drive there. - Oct 13, 2017
Alas, no public transport. But the embassy motorpool is amazing. And Uber is deemed safe by the embassy. - Jan 19, 2017
There are no city buses, subways, or streetcars in Riyadh at the present, although a large part of the city is being torn up to build a modern, luxurious Metro and tram system. Sexes will be segregated on these when they open. There is one long-distance train line, between Riyadh and Dhahran, on the Gulf Coast. I understand the trains are clean and comfortable, but I never rode them nor did I talk with anyone who had. Saudi Arabia is trying to expand its passenger-rail network. - May 20, 2016
Some. We use hospital-based taxis. Outside taxis not so much. Language barriers, and pricing based on nationality. - Nov 9, 2015
There is no public transport, and we cannot use taxis for security reasons. Just recently, Uber was accepted. We use the motor pool all the time, and they are a Godsend. However the Embassy management is trying limit the use of the motorpool by imposing new rules - just to make our life even more difficult - Oct 27, 2015
No trains, no buses. Most women have drivers. - Oct 15, 2015
Best to have a driver. Buses are for men only and usually poor workers. Taxis are safe for men. - Jan 23, 2015
Few trains, buses and taxis are not allowed by Embassy. - Sep 28, 2014
There are no local trains or buses, and taxis are prohibited for us to use anywhere in the country. You will either have to rely on the embassy's woefully inadequate motor pool or bring your own car. There are also embassy shuttles to supermarkets and such, but the "system" for pickup to get home sounds pretty poor to me. - Mar 26, 2014
We have travelled to Dhahran on the train and enjoyed the experience. As I stated earlier, taxis are off limits for us. - Dec 4, 2013
Public transit is poor here but safe. Taxis are safe and affordable. - Oct 9, 2013
Westerners do not take buses, and women should not take taxis. There is a train to the Eastern Province, which is basic, but fine for an outing. - Mar 17, 2013
Public transportation is not really available, and security-wise people are discouraged fromt taking taxis. - Apr 7, 2011
Most taxis and buses should not be used by women or foreigners. The prices are low compared to the U.S. - Mar 29, 2010
No, not safe. - Jan 18, 2010
There is no mass transit. Cabs are off-limits to USG employees anyway. I hope you don't mind everyone in the motor pool knowing where you've been and who you've seen. - Dec 29, 2009
No and not safe, for fear of kidnapping by Muslim extremists. - Oct 21, 2008