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Public transport: A nation’s lifeline

Dec 29,2019 - Last updated at Dec 29,2019

At the recent launch of the fourth executive package to improve the national economy, Prime Minister Omar Razzaz revealed the government's plans to improve the public transport sector with the ultimate goal of encouraging all segments of society, "not only those without cars", to use the system.

It is about time for Jordan to have an efficient public transport system, as the lack of such a system has grave consequences on the economy, access to jobs and the environment.

Having a reasonable and efficient public transport system will make it possible to encourage people to abstain from using their vehicles. If there is an efficient and credible public transport system, it will be cheaper and less of a hassle to use public transport than one’s own car.

The lack of parking spaces and worsening bottlenecks, coupled with the increased use of personal vehicles are among many reasons why Amman is in dire need of swift and efficient transport solutions.

Pushing for a modern transport network is also good for the economy and the environment. Having a proper public transport system would result in fewer vehicles on the roads and most likely fewer accidents, which claims the lives of many every year.

In fact, several studies have indicated serious impact of the lack of proper public transport on the economy. One study launched by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) and SADAQA, an organisation that promotes women’s economic rights, found that 55 per cent of women who use public transport say that it negatively impacts their lives and causes constant delays in reaching their places of work and study, and has even driven them at times to stop working or studying altogether. The study also found that 47 per cent of women in Jordan have refused a job offer due to the lack of transport.

According to the World Bank, transport accounts for about 64 per cent of global oil consumption, 27 per cent of all energy use and 23 per cent of the world’s energy-related CO2 emissions, and with motorisation rates on the rise, the environmental impact of the sector is expected to grow dramatically.

The World Bank indicated that high mobility costs cut the disposable income of the poor, who often lack reliable and affordable public transport, stressing that efficient public transport is key for road safety as more than 1.25 million people are killed and up to 50 million are injured on the world’s roads every year.

With population growth and urbanisation, building a cleaner, more efficient, safer, affordable and accessible public transport system is a must and a key player in helping reduce pollution and congestion and facilitating easier access to jobs.

 

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