5-year transportation strategy aims to develop sector, address challenges

road work
(Photo: Ameer Khalefih/Jordan News)
AMMAN — The Ministry of Transport, in coordination with related entities and partners in the public and private sectors, is currently updating the transport sector strategy for the years 2022-2027, according to ministry Spokesman Ali Odeibat. اضافة اعلان

The strategy will be decided upon analyzing the situation and conditions of the sector, and a package of reforms will be proposed regarding procedures, initiatives and projects that can advance the sector, said Odeibat.

Odeibat told Jordan News that the ministry seeks to find a mechanism to ensure the complementarity of sector strategies, such as environment and energy strategies, and those of institutions concerned with the transport sector, such as the Ministry of Public Works and Housing and the Greater Amman Municipality.

He added that “to ensure complementarity in planning, a steering committee was formed, headed by the prime minister, to review and develop the national transport sector strategy, with members from stakeholders, ministries, members of Parliament and senators”.

Odeibat’s statement came after the head of the Economic and Social Council, Musa Shteiwi, emphasized, in a press statement on Monday, that the transport sector faces fundamental challenges that require the participation of all parties to confront them”.

Shteiwi also said that the sector is of paramount importance in encouraging investment, enhancing the economy’s competitiveness, and achieving safe and affordable transportation that is available to all citizens.

According to Shteiwi, the transport sector faces many challenges related to creating an efficient transport system, implementing major projects, developing the infrastructure, and implementing the concept of smart transport.

He pointed out that the transport sector is affected by the regional circumstances, by the import and export of goods and services, stressing the importance of maintaining the continuity of movement in all its forms to enhance economic and food security.

Ahmad Abu Haidar, head of the Syndicate of Owners of Taxi Offices, Internal and External Travel, and Driving Training Centers, told Jordan News that one of the more serious problems that the yellow taxi sector suffers from is lack of regulation regarding the work of unlicensed ridesharing applications.

Abu Haidar said that drivers have been living though hard economic conditions since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and even before that, adding that the unfair competition with the drivers using ridesharing applications had left a great negative impact on the taxi drivers.

“I can say that if the situation stays as it is, many of them will be in debt, and they will lose their jobs.”

Abu Haidar said that the continuous traffic jams also affect drivers’ work; “some drivers stay in traffic for more than one or two hours, and for nothing, their expenses are much more than their income”.

He added that the syndicate’s main demand is to have the work of the existing ridesharing applications that are operating in the sector regulated, and to secure justice for taxi drivers who cannot bear any more losses or further expenses.

Lawrence Al-Rifai, spokesman for ridesharing companies drivers, told Jordan News that more than 3,000 drivers are financially distressed and their vehicles are impounded, adding that “every time, the Ministry of Transport promises us to find radical solutions to help the transportation field, but it ends up doing nothing”.

“We demand from the concerned entities to monitor and regulate the work of some licensed companies. I believe that this is one of the most important aspects that concerned entities should take into consideration for the time being to rehabilitate the sector,” Rifai said.

He also said that ridesharing applications and yellow taxi drivers are being harmed by some ridesharing companies that do not adhere to the official pricing.

“Those companies are creating a state of unfair competition, yet neither the commission nor the ministry has taken any action till now.”

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