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The slow boat BRT

Aug 02,2018 - Last updated at Aug 02,2018

The Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) now says that the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT system) "will be completed by 2020!” If this updated announcement is taken at face value, the projected BRT should be renamed as “Bus Slow Transit” and not Bus Rapid Transit.

According to GAM's own sources, this project has been in the making since 2010, and by the time it could be finished traffic conditions in Amman would have overtaken the transportation benefits from it. Why in the world this project is taking so long, no one really knows.

When, and if, completed, "inshallah" it would start from Sweileh to link it to the University of Jordan, the Sports City intersection and then to the Tabarbour traffic light, Istiklal Street and finally reaching Al Mahatta, a major thoroughfare in Amman that would facilitate traffic conditions to the major city of Zarqa, northeast of Amman, from where thousands and thousands of commuters travel each day to Amman for work.

But what about other areas in Amman where traffic conditions have become unbearable? The trouble facing this much talked about project could not have been financial, since the French Development Agency is footing the bill. It must be something else yet to be identified that made the implementation of this grand scheme nearly “mission impossible” and the popular joke of the country.

The implementation of the BRT at a snail’s pace kept people wondering why a relatively simple+straight-forward project is taking so long to implement.

To add insult to injury, GAM now says that it is eyeing an underground system to solve other congested streets in Amman. The much discussed metro solution to Amman's rapid deterioration of street conditions and increased congestion almost everywhere must be another "dream" that would take decades at least.

Let us stick to above-ground solutions for traffic congestion and perfect them before GAM flirts with other imaginary solutions that would take literally generations to be completed, if ever.

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