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‘Amman Bus’ project

Jun 25,2019 - Last updated at Jun 25,2019

Amman Mayor Yousef Shawarbeh announced on Saturday during a press conference that the first phase of the so-called "Amman Bus" will be launched on June 30 to include the operation of 135 new buses, covering initially 55 destinations in Amman.

This is, indeed, good news for commuters in Amman, who have been dependent until now on either taxis, their own cars or old buses for transportation to and from their places of work.

Passengers are expected to use e-cards that can be purchased at certain designated facilities. The mayor even projected a rosier picture for the future, when the number of the new buses will increase by 150 more buses and 34 new routes.

Yet in retrospect, the satisfaction of commuters in Amman could remain short-lived, as special lanes for the new fleet of buses have yet to be designated to facilitate their fast movement in heavy traffic conditions that cause unbearable congestion nearly everywhere in Amman.

Bus stops are being contemplated but are not ready yet, in which case buses will stop at main stations in the capital and may have to stop at random street areas, thus putting the life of passengers in danger. While it is always good news that modern, faster and cleaner buses will service city commuters soon, not preparing the other corresponding infrastructure associated with the "Amman Bus" system would be tantamount to putting the cart before the horse.

The least that would-be-passengers would expect is the assignment of special lanes for the new fleet of buses that are restricted to their use only. Well-designated and protected bus stops need to be also prepared as a matter of great urgency.

Violators of the special bus lanes and bus stops must be heavily fined in order to drive home the message that the "Amman Bus" system will be promoted and protected at all costs.

Meanwhile, Ammanites still await news about the fate of the so-called Bus Rapid Transit, which has been in the making for a good number of years, with no visible signs that it is about to come to fruition anytime soon.

Final judgement on the new “Amman Bus” project must be put on hold until it becomes operational and tested in real life.

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