Locals voice frustration over BRT-caused traffic, demand solutions

(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — A fewer-than-expected number of Jordanians are using the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), which has contributed to increasing traffic jams across the capital, with one of its buses commanding much-needed lanes on its own, while tens of other vehicles cram the remaining part of the road.اضافة اعلان

A post showing A BRT wandering a road on its own, with tens of cars jamming both sides of the road, went viral on social media sites, drawing a rebuke from Jordanians who argued that a little number of people use the bus service anyway.

“To serve the two people aboard the BRT, hundreds of others are stuck in the traffic jam,” commented one of the posters on Facebook.

Another one, Mohammad Al-Nawafleh, tweeted that the problem of 300 citizens has been solved with the establishment of BRT, “but now we must solve the problem of the remaining 10 million people”, most of whom use their own vehicles.

Former minister of administrative development Bassam Al-Amoush wrote on Facebook: “I want to sue the person who came up with the idea of the rapid bus. Anybody knows who he is?”

In separate comments to Jordan News, Amoush said that the traffic situation due to the BRT led to “great tumult in the streets”.

He said that the “Amman bus works well and does not cause crises, unlike the rapid bus, which occupies half the road”.

“The roads became narrower, and cars are piling up on both sides of the road,” he added.

He stressed that the rapid bus did not solve the problem of traffic jams, but rather “complicated it, and we have to work on establishing a metro, or trains like those in Dubai” in the UAE.

”Everyone is upset by the situation caused by the BRT, which did not meet the expectations of citizens in providing good public transport, and did not solve the traffic problem,” he said.

Of a handful of people interviewed by Jordan News, only one citizen said he used the rapid bus, indicating that the Greater Amman Municipality should map out strategic plans to increase people’s demand or think of other drastic solutions.

Khaled Mohammad, 48, said that he relies on the BRT in his daily commute to work. “I began to use it and leave my own car; since it saves time and fuel,” he said

Ali Al-Adwan, 44, said that he used to drive his children to school on his way to work, and that the commute did not take more than 30 minutes. “But because of the rapid bus, it takes me about 45 minutes, especially during the rush hour,” he said.

He explained that the rapid bus was a solution for a small group of people at the expense of other people, primarily motorists.

Islam Al-Awamleh, 37, owner of a library near the BRT station in Sweileh, told Jordan News that he does not need to use BRT to get to his work, but he believed that “the rapid bus came at the expense of drivers”.

“I noticed that only a small number of citizens are using these buses. The bus might need more publicity; this can be done through the word of mouth as when someone uses the bus and likes the experience, he will share his own experience with his friends and family and therefore they will be encouraged to use it”, he pointed out.

University senior Mohammad Mohtaseb, 22 said: “I have never used the bus, and I do not think about using it one day, especially that it has one route only, so it will take me more time and effort to reach my destination.”

“It is easier for me to take a taxi instead,” he added.

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