SAPTCO: A national bus service of Saudi Arabia

This article compiles some of the most fundamental info about the SAPTCO bus service and everything you may need to know about it in one place.

Mass transit is a service that has become a dire need as of late. Governments worldwide are in search of a speedy transport system that can facilitate a large number of people at once. And SAPTCO is just something like that. 

What is SAPTCO?

SAPTCO is short for Saudi Arabia Transport Company and is one of a kind. Most of its users rate it as a comfortable and premium bus service that rarely disappoints. And what’s better? You can now do multiple things online from the ease of your home without having to visit any office around town!

How to book a SAPTCO ticket online?

The online ticket booking service that SAPTCO has recently launched takes transportation to another level. Not only can you do everything from the comfort of your home, but the whole process is straightforward and takes no longer than a few minutes. We have summarized the steps here:

  1. Visit the SAPTCO website. You can choose a language you like for better access
  1. Fill in the ticket reservation infobox. This is the primary step, and you ought to fill it as accurately with your details as possible
  1. Once you have put in the information, click on the Search button
  1. Select a departure time as suits you best. Click Continue to reach the next page
  1. Enter all the valid details for the passenger. Whether it is a registered or new user and the mobile number and email for confirmation. Once you are done, select the Continue option and hence, confirm your ticket
  1. Process your payment. When booking this bus ticket online, you will have to make a digital fee on the spot. SAPTCO accepts payments through MasterCard, Visa card, and of course, the SADAD Online Payments

And that’s about it. Your ticket is ready to go, and all ticket confirmations are emailed to you so you have a digital record no matter where you may be.

What is a SAPTCO Smartcard?

A SAPTCO smartcard is like innovation for digital payments. As per the most recent developments, the users of the SAPTCO bus service do not have to pay in cash; instead, they have to use their smartcards topped up with credit. Especially if you are thinking of intra-city travel, the SAPTCO smartcards are more of a necessity than a choice.

How to get your SAPTCO Smartcard?

You can request your bus driver to sell you a SAPTCO smartcard right on the bus. However, if you have time for a bit of detour, you can walk over to the nearest SAPTCO vending machine that would issue you a smartcard. 

What kind of SAPTCO Smartcards are available?

You can decide on the type of smartcard depending on your travel needs. The SAPTCO smartcards are divided into multiple categories as given below:

  1. A smartcard priced at SR 10 will have a credit of SR 5 on it
  2. A SAPTCO card worth SR 25 will provide you a balance of SR 25 for travel
  3. A smartcard priced at SR 50 will give you a credit of SR 55
  4. A SAPTCO smartcard priced at SR 100 will allow you a balance of SR 120

How to recharge a SAPTCO smartcard?

The SAPTCO smartcards are rechargeable and can be topped up with credit. You can ask your bus driver to recharge your card or head to the nearest SAPTCO bus vending machine.

SAPTCO Bus service addresses many pressing concerns that people have. It is a relatively vast service that does a great deal to facilitate its users. From inter-city to intra-city travel, complete with the holy sites, SAPTCO does cover almost everything. As we move on further into this article, we talk about some of the most important FAQs about the SAPTCO bus service. There is A LOT more where that came from!

Is there a mobile app for SAPTCO?

The SAPTCO mobile application is available on the PlayStore for easy download and access. Once you have downloaded the application, you have to make a new account or log in to your SAPTCO account if you already have one. 

You can book rides on the SAPTCO application and also take care of your payments, and recharge your smartcard on the go. As with most applications, The SAPTCO bus service has a brilliant app that allows people ease of use from anywhere in the Kingdom.

Does SAPTCO operate on international routes?

The answer is yes. Not on a very grand scale, but the SAPTCO bus service does more than just cover the routes within the country. It also transports to and from the neighboring countries of the Kingdom. This list includes the GCC countries, namely U. A. E., and Bahrain, and more widespread routes like Egypt, Sudan, and Yemen to a limited degree. 

If you are looking to travel outside the Kingdom for more economical rates and can stomach the long travel times, SAPTCO may just be the thing for you.

Does SAPTCO have special offers for certain people?

SAPTCO bus service is all for inclusive policies. They will do anything possible to make you feel welcome and supported. Hence, the SAPTCO service allows a discount of 50% to people with special needs and disabilities. That is, their return trip is free of charge. 

SAPTCO also prides itself in swift and effortless services to people with special needs and treats them on a high-priority basis.

The bus service also provides students with a 50% discount no matter where they may be traveling. SAPTCO also comes up with promotions to make travel more affordable for students and relevant university personnel.

What documents to carry for the travel?

SAPTCO buses are safe for many, and the officials are trying to keep it that way. For your safety and others on board, SAPTCO requires you to show certain documents before your journey begins. These include one of the following:

  1. Original National ID card
  2. Residence certificate
  3. Passport

What is the allowed weight for internal trips?

SAPTCO has a strict policy regarding luggage weights within acceptable limits, and we have given them below in a simplified version.

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For intercity travel, 75 kg of luggage per adult ticket & 35 kg of luggage for a child’s ticket.  One riyal will be charged for each kg of weight that goes over the limit.

For cross-border travel to the GCC countries, 50 kg of luggage per adult ticket & 25 kg of luggage for a child’s ticket. Two riyals are charged for each extra kg of weight.

Bear in mind that a child’s ticket is only valid for ages 2 through 12 years

What is the allowed weight for international trips?

For international trips, to say, Yemen or Egypt, the allowed weight is slightly higher. You can carry up to 100 kg for adult tickets and 50 kg for children tickets. 

A fee of three riyals is charged per kilogram for any extra weight over this limit. 

What is the SAPTCO policy for damaged luggage or lost items?

Any luggage seen to be damaged or lost on arrival at your destination should be promptly informed to the terminus officials. Although SAPTCO is not responsible for lost items, damaged or lost luggage can be compensated for at a maximum of SR 350 on presenting the lost luggage receipt. 

Any personal belongings or items of use other than luggage are not covered under the company’s policy. Hence, you have to be extremely wary about what you take on the bus with you. SAPTCO offers no compensation for any such items or losses on the bus.

What are the safety measures on SAPTCO buses?

The buses are clearly following the current health SOP’s and are prepared for all sorts of emergencies at hand. There are fire extinguishers available and fire exits, clearly marked. The buses have stocked pantries with valuable first-aid items to deal with common emergencies, and the staff meticulously trains to respond to them. 

Under the recent spell of Covid-19, SAPTCO sticks to clear and proper safety protocols for its passengers. These include careful use of face masks, hand sanitizer, and maintaining social distancing as much as possible.

The SAPTCO buses are periodically maintained and are regularly checked before undertaking a trip. Under harsh weather conditions, trips are delayed or canceled to ensure the safety of the passengers.

Pets and smoking policy

This leading bus service has a stringent no smoking policy. Violating the policy comes with some serious repercussions. 

Pets – be it an animal of any kind are not welcome within the bus premises. This is to uphold customer satisfaction and make sure that all passengers may feel at home.

How long does a bus stop en-route?

While traveling to a particular destination on schedule, the bus makes very few stops. Although the driver usually decides the stops, you can expect a stop to last for 45 minutes. This is enough time to take care of your prayers and other personal businesses.

How to handle errors made on online booking?

If you made an error while booking a ticket online, there is no need to panic. You can contact SAPTCO customer service at the number 920000877 and inform them about your trouble. They will help you fix it without any hassle.

Do economic trips have meal plans and refrigerator privileges?

Unfortunately, as of now, economic trips taken on the SAPTCO service do not come with meals. However, you can bring your snacks as long as you are tidy and not trashing the vehicle. 

A refrigerator is available on the bus, and anyone can use it to store fragile or fresh items.

What are the advantages of the VIP service?

The VIP service of SAPTCO is enjoyable and provides city-center to city-center commute with lots of fancy perks. For instance, they come with:

  • Ultra-modern buses with plenty of room, only 30 seats
  • Padded, comfortable seats
  • WiFi and live TV channels
  • Private screens on every seat
  • Charging ports
  • Newspapers, magazines, and snacks of choice

Can I cancel my reservation?

You can cancel your bus reservation at any time, but you need to either visit the website or one of the SAPTCO offices. 

Subsequently, 35% of the ticket value will be discounted from the cancellation fee if you apply for cancellation and payment recovery. 

Is it possible to make an instant reservation without a prior booking?

Yes, you can make a reservation relatively late, even without a prior booking, by visiting an agent or SAPTCO office. However, you have to reach at least one hour before the departure of an internal trip and at least two hours before the departure of an international trip.

SAPTCO’s rental bus service

SAPTCO’s bus company also provides its services for rental purposes. It has been used for tourism or to take pilgrims between the cities of Mecca and Medina. Such rental services are made by the hour or by the day. 

What is the SAPTCO bus fare from Riyadh to Dammam?

The bus fare for the trip from Riyadh to Dammam for a single adult is about SR 92 each way, making a total of SR 184. Moreover, you can book the ticket online by choosing a departure date and time and the return date. All other necessary details to fill in are on the next page. 

Similarly, the bus fare from Dammam to Riyadh for an adult is SR 92 each way. There is no difference in the fare rate; hence, nothing to worry or wonder about.

If you are traveling with a child (between 2-12 years of age), you have to pay another SR 46 for them. So, just about SR 138 per way, or a total of SR 276. Infants, or children up to to the age of 2, can travel free of any charges.

What is the SAPTCO bus fare from Jeddah to Riyadh?

The bus fare from Jeddah to Riyadh is SR 230 each way for a single adult hence SR 460 for a round trip. However, some departure times are less busy than others. Therefore, they have a lower price of SR 219. You can check out the rates on the official website for booking on the SAPTCO website.

The fare for a trip from Riyadh to Jeddah is the very same.

What is the bus fare from Mecca to Medina?

One of the most critical parts of pilgrimage is the travel from the Holy city of Makkah to Madina. SAPTCO certainly offers services for this trip; the fare is affordable at SR 92 each way for one adult. 

As mentioned before, the cost of a child’s ticket is half the adult ticket, and infants/toddlers can transit free of charge.

And that’s a wrap! We hope that we have successfully addressed some of your most basic queries about SAPTCO in this article.

SAPTCO is a very easy and widely accessible bus service that operates in the entirety of the Kingdom. Therefore, you can find all major cities on its route map, and some small ones too. SAPTCO is dedicated to bringing quality and comfortable travel to you, regardless of what your business may be. 

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