Irbid bus owners merge and unite, pending official stamp

A computer-generated image of a Bus Rapid Transit station on Prince Basma Street in Amman. (Photo: GAM)
A computer-generated image of a Bus Rapid Transit station on Prince Basma Street in Amman. (Photo: GAM)
IRBID — As a result of the “obvious chaos” in the transportation sector in the Jordanian capital and governorates, several measures have been taken since 2017 to control the sector.اضافة اعلان

Public bus operators have been given a five-year deadline for the sole proprietorship to turn into merger companies to further streamline the public transportation system.

One of the private companies moved first and submitted a merger request to the Jordan’s Land Transport Regulatory Commission (LTRC).

Jordan News contacted the first companies that took the step to bring under its umbrella individual bus owners.

Ismat Jaradat, managing director of Al-Hadari Transport Organizing Company, who is also a member of the Jordanian Bus Owners Syndicate, and the union's secretary, told Jordan News that, "We started with inviting buses operating on routes and within the city merging them into one company.”

The company held a series of public events to present the idea to the target partners, and the effort paid off.
“The result was the inclusion of a large number of bus owners under the name of one company, while each of them has his own commercial license.”

According to Jaradat, the procedures are multifaceted and they address different issues.

"We began to impose a special uniform for bus drivers, and then we set specific schedules for the trips; we have also introduced a mechanism to make sure that drivers are not overworked. As for the routes, they are outlined clearly and it is not allowed to deviate from them, as citizens can track them through the website, and if the bus is found to be taking a different route, and I case it was a deliberate move, there will be consequences.”

He also added, “At peak times, there is a possibility to increase the number of buses on a certain route, and the number of shifts has already been increased. In addition to that, we have reduced unemployment by asking for more drivers, and that also increases the ease of movement for the Jordanian citizen, and of course we provide social security for workers.”

Jaradat complained about the insufficient cooperation of the LTRC, saying: "We bore the entire cost of this project, meaning that the government and the commission did not provide any financial backing. Now, we are demanding financial support to more bus owners to join in; this will improve the services and render public transportation more civilized and better regulated.”

In a phone interview with Jordan News, Rola Al-Omari, director of the Land Transport Office in Irbid, the entity responsible for the implementation of this project, acknowledged that the said private companies “took a bold and big step three years ago with the aim of merging public transport buses, but the authority's response was very slow, as it took eight months to form the first committee to look into the matter, even as the contracts were already signed.”

According to Omari, Irbid is the first governorate to take this step. However, she hopes that the same mechanism would be implemented across the Kingdom in order to “regain the trust in the public transportation sector in Jordan.”

Jaradat told Jordan News that he was invited by the LTRC to further discuss the needs, demands and way forward regarding this project.
Omari expected that the meeting “would clarify the problems facing these companies and bus operators, and thus the authority will be able to solve these problems as soon as possible and with minimal losses."

Reham Qandil, a citizen who used to use public buses inside Irbid, said that, “I can now know the exact time of the bus's arrival at the station."

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