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One bus at a time

Oct 08,2017 - Last updated at Oct 08,2017

The Greater Amman Municipality said it was planning to introduce 100 new buses in the public transportation system by next year, a first step on a long way to make public transportation functional, dependable and affordable.

The proposal is feasible, and should have seen the light of day decades ago. The problem will be regulating the performance; the only way buses, new or old, can serve the needed objective is by following to the letter the routes assigned to them, according to a rigorous timetable.

Once they become reliable, with schedules posted at bus stations — the latter, hopefully, decent places for waiting, protected from nature’s caprices — they will, no doubt, be used by a large segment of population.

The conduct of the bus drivers will need to be professional, unlike now, when one can see buses suddenly veer off the lane and stop in the middle of the street to pick up passengers, and frequencies decided by the demand on the route.

With bus stops properly designated, schedules scrupulously observed and frequencies sufficient to cover the needs on a certain route, citizens will get the knack of it and traffic could be regulated. 

Failure to observe professional conduct will have to be penalised.

Passengers, on the other hand, will need to know that public transportation buses are designed to serve them, and not goods they would want to have carried.

No bulky parcels, no goats or poultry and no more passengers than the bus can accommodate.

The municipality talked about the payment system, which is also important. There will be need for kiosks where bus tickets are sold, but prepaid, phone paid or weekly, monthly or yearly passes need to be considered and accepted.

Once things get on their way, Jordan should be able to operate public transportation on the honour system, like many countries in the world where passengers get their tickets in advance and rarely are asked to show them by control teams.

And, not least, like any good transportation system anywhere in the world, ours will need to provide facilities for people with special needs.

Getting on or off a bus could be quite an ordeal for the physically handicapped.

The new buses GAM intends to add to its fleet will have to have the special features needed by this group of people. 

Since the intention is to improve the life of commuters, one is optimistic that the plan has been thoroughly studied and all the above, and more, was taken into consideration.

 

It certainly is high time to make moving around the capital easier.

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