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Jerash, Irbid bus operators agree not to raise fares despite hike

Gov’t raises fares of public transportation of medium and large public buses by 10 %

By Ahmed Bani Mustafa - Feb 12,2018 - Last updated at Feb 12,2018

JERASH — Bus operators ferrying passengers between Jerash and Irbid agreed on not raising fares and demanded subsidies, a stakeholder said.

The government has raised fares of public transportation of medium and large public buses, and all taxis by 10 per cent as of February 7.

Adnan Bayan, a bus company owner, told The Jordan Times on Monday: "We agreed to keep fares unchanged although it is harmful to us.  We are recording losses and the recent government's increase is not enough."

However, "after a meeting with Land Transport Regulatory Commission (LTRC) Director General Salah Lozi, we agreed on keeping the fares as they are [JD1] to be on the side of commuters, who are mainly students", said Bayan.

Around 98 per cent of Jerash-Irbid passengers are students, according to the company owner.

The drivers seek support from the government not from students, said Bayan, adding that Jerash-Irbid and Jerash-Amman bus companies and individuals were pledged to be included in the subsidies provided to university students.

LTRC provides subsidised fares for buses that ferry students to some universities and will work on including all public universities, according to LTRC Media and Communications Manager Ablah Wishah. 

Wishah told The Jordan Times that the LTRC currently supports students of the universities of Al Albayt, the Jordan University of Science and Technology, Al Hashimiya and Al Hussein by subsidising 50 per cent of the fares.

Most of vehicles ferrying passengers between Jerash and Irbid are operated by individuals not companies, which makes it difficult to deliver the subsidies, Wishah said.

Lozi has said that increasing the fares was made after the LTRC studied all changes related to fuel prices and inflation rates that placed additional burdens on operators through hikes in operational costs and a decrease in revenues, which in turn negatively affected the quality of service due to negligence of maintenance issues, according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra.

The LTRC is responsible for the transport sector and providing incentives to operators, as well as boosting investments, according to the commission.

 

The transport sector accounts for 26 per cent of the gross domestic product, and investments related to it are “large and fruitful”, Lozi said in previous remarks, noting that some of the challenges facing the sector are due to the fact that operators tend to be individuals rather than companies.

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