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Students at Mafraq university continue protest over transport services

By Suzanna Goussous - Apr 20,2016 - Last updated at Apr 20,2016

Al al Bayt University students walk in groups to their homes recently to demand better transport services to and from the Mafraq-based university (JT photo)

AMMAN — Al al Bayt University students on Wednesday entered their 11th day of boycotting the Mafraq Governorate transport system to push for the improvement of services.

More than 70 per cent of Al al Bayt University students use the autobuses to go to and from campus. Students this week decided to organise rallies to walk to their homes instead of taking the bus, according to protesters.

The Land Transport Regulatory Commission (LTRC) had announced a decision last week to deploy a number of buses from Amman to solve the transport problem.

“We were promised to be transported by buses that would be enough to fix the problem… Around 15 buses were supposed to be in front of the university’s gate, but we only found five buses on Sunday,” one of the protesting students told The Jordan Times over the phone on condition of anonymity.

Nearly 15,000 students take the bus, according to a third-year student who preferred anonymity, and many of them live in Jerash, Irbid, Amman and other governorates.

He claimed that the Amman-Al al Bayt buses provided earlier this week “caused more problems” to students, by taking double the allowed number of passengers to “make more profit”.

“After that, we decided to gather and organise more protests to spread the word. The commission and the university administration decided to increase the number of Amman buses to around 15, but they were only available for a day.”

Activists have also demanded a parking lot and an area for students to wait for the buses. But more than 10 days into their protest, the students are yet to receive a response, according to a student from the Arab Renewal Bloc.

“The bus drivers sometimes also charge more than they should, due to the lack of monitoring and the unorganised transportation system.”

For his part, LTRC Director General Marwan Hmoud said commission members met with the university administration and students late last week to suggest solutions.

The solutions decided on during the meeting included sending buses from Amman to Mafraq to serve university students and setting a plan of slashing the transport fee by half, Hmoud told The Jordan Times.

“There were around 13 buses sent from the capital to Mafraq; however, we are still working on a well-structured plan to organise the transport systems on the Zarqa-Mafraq route,” he added.

 

He urged students who are asked to pay more than JD0.25 for buses on the Mafraq-Al al Bayt University route to inform the commission immediately.

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