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Economist welcomes metro project, raises red flag over funding

By Maria Weldali - Dec 29,2020 - Last updated at Dec 29,2020

AMMAN — The Greater Amman Municipality’s (GAM) approval of a draft memorandum of understanding on the implementation of a metro project would contribute to resolving and alleviating traffic jams, but it should not be implemented through loans, said an economist on Tuesday.

In a phone interview, economist Mazen Marji said that the crucial need for a metro in Amman is essential to having a diverse and strong transport infrastructure. He pointed out that the central problem in executing a “massive project” in the Kingdom, such as a metro project, is deviations from the set schedule.

Marji added that the successful completion of a complex project requires proper tracking of all project variables, including time, cost and scope. “Being late costs more money,” he highlighted.

Transport infrastructure is a critical component in the development of the economy as it adds efficiency to the system, however, it should not be financed through loans, he noted. 

“The Kingdom has enough public debt,” he said.

Marji further noted that poor planning and management, as well as, incompetence, lead to delays and cause adverse effects. The government has paid large sums of money to construct tunnels and bridges with the aim of improving traffic flow and solving various mobility issues. 

“Having more people using metro would take a significant number of vehicles off the road, reducing traffic congestion,” Marji added.

Metros provide long-term benefits to the environment, Mohammad Rashed, a Jordanian citizen in his early 30s told The Jordan Times on Tuesday, adding that “Amman is a highly populated city that is in great need for a modernised transport system to enhance people’s mobility and physical connectivity.

“The metro project would decrease dependability on private cars and would raise the quality of life in Amman,” Rashed noted.

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