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Not enough

Oct 25,2018 - Last updated at Oct 25,2018

Ammanis are pinning their hopes on the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project, now that work on it is being implemented speedily and efficiently, to ease transport on a number of routes and to reduce the traffic jam in several key areas in the capital.

I have had the opportunity recently to inspect first-hand what has been accomplished, and to look at the design of what remains to be done, and the project does strike one as impressive indeed.

Upon completion, the project will make a difference to the transportation system in the capital and it will constitute a leap forward in a system that has been more or less the same for so many decades.

But while the BRT project does qualify as both a smart solution and a breakthrough, it is not enough.

Amman, due to a series of dramatic population increases over time, has become both huge and very cosmopolitan, and like other huge and cosmopolitan cities in the globe, it is in need of viable solutions to its transport situation.

In addition to the BRT project, which would have been in full swing by now had it not been unnecessarily halted for years, there is a need for trams and trains, as the BRT project does not cover all routes, and as variety and multiplicity of means of transport are a must.

Much still needs to be done as far as Amman is concerned.

But what about the rest of the country: Other major Jordanian cities which have also become heavily populated and in need of transportation solutions, and major routes among those cities?

A lot is needed at this latter level.

Irbid and Zarqa, in particular, are in urgent need of such solutions.

But so are the roads connecting major cities and major tourist destinations in the country.

As we pin hopes on growth of the tourism sector, we need to make sure that access to attractive urban, rural, natural and historic destinations is both safe and comfortable.

Ammanis, for example, would love to go to Aqaba more often, for recreation and for shopping, had there been a convenient, safe and efficient means of transport connecting the two cities: a fast train, for example.

The same can be said about Wadi Rum, Petra, Irbid, etc.

It goes without saying that improving transport will also help the economic, education and social sectors as well.

Who would finance all of this, some may hasten to inject? The country, due to both external and internal factors, is going through an economic crisis. Where would the funds come from?

I am no expert on financing or economic planning, but I know that experts always feel that the necessary funds can be obtained through various means, if there is a plan and a will.

It is that plan, and that will, that is needed.

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