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Public Transportation in Al Khobar

Learning how to get around using public transportation in Al Khobar is an important step in adjusting to life in Al Khobar. In this article, we cover the local public transportation options.

Public transportation in Al Khobar, is a mix of buses, taxis, and ride-hailing services. The city does not have a subway or tram system, but the bus network, run by the Saudi Public Transport Company (SAPTCO), is extensive and covers most areas of the city. Taxis are also widely available, and ride-hailing services like Uber and Careem have become increasingly popular in recent years. While it’s possible for an expat to live in Al Khobar without a car, depending on their lifestyle and daily commute, having a car can provide more convenience and flexibility.


The Saudi Public Transport Company (SAPTCO) operates the bus network in Al Khobar. The buses are modern and air-conditioned, providing a comfortable ride even in the hot summer months. The routes cover most areas of the city, making it a viable option for daily commuting. However, the buses can be crowded during peak hours, and the frequency of buses can be low on some routes. The fare is relatively cheap, with a single journey costing around 2 SAR. While the bus network is generally safe, it’s less commonly used by women and children.


Taxis are a common mode of transportation in Al Khobar. They can be hailed on the street or booked through a hotel or restaurant. The taxis are metered, but it’s not uncommon for drivers to negotiate a flat fare, especially for longer journeys. The cost of a taxi ride can vary, but it’s generally affordable. Taxis are considered safe, but as with any city, it’s advisable to be aware of your surroundings and ensure the driver is using the meter. Women can use taxis, but it’s recommended to sit in the back seat.

Ride-Hailing Services

Uber and Careem are popular ride-hailing services in Al Khobar. They offer a convenient and reliable alternative to traditional taxis. The apps allow you to book a ride from your location to your destination, with the fare displayed upfront. The drivers are vetted by the companies, and the cars are usually newer and cleaner than traditional taxis. The cost of a ride can be higher than a taxi, but the convenience and reliability often make it worth the extra cost. Both Uber and Careem are considered safe for women and children to use.

Car Ownership

While public transportation is available in Al Khobar, many expats choose to own a car for the convenience and flexibility it provides. The city is spread out, and having a car can make it easier to get around, especially for families with children. The cost of owning a car in Saudi Arabia is relatively low, with cheap fuel prices and affordable maintenance costs. However, traffic can be heavy during peak hours, and finding parking can be a challenge in some areas of the city.

In conclusion, public transportation in Al Khobar is available and generally safe, but having a car can provide more convenience and flexibility. The choice between using public transportation and owning a car will depend on an individual’s lifestyle, daily commute, and personal preferences.

Joshua WoodJoshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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