Lower House discusses transport sector issues

(Photo: Ameer Khalifeh/ Jordan News)
AMMAN — The Lower House’s Tourism, Antiquities, and Public Services Committee, headed by MP Majid Rawashdeh, discussed during its Tuesday meeting the reality of the transport sector, its challenges and ways to develop it, and the need to update the legislation governing its operations.اضافة اعلان

Rawashdeh stressed the need for a “radical solution” to all the challenges and problems facing the essential public transport sector in the Kingdom, which in turn affects many other areas, saying that he approached the Ministry of Transport several times, but the ministry “showed its inability to regulate the sector”.

“We, the MPs, will not abandon this file and will continue to demand” that it be regulated, he added.

He also said that the failure of the transport authorities to implement the decisions by virtue of the powers invested in them reflected negatively on the ministry performance and on the land transport sector.

In a related issue, according to Rawashdeh, there is no accurate understanding of the financial resources of the Passenger Transport Support Fund, “which has complicated its activation”.

The committee called for extending the operational life of public taxis (yellow taxis), in particular, and of other means of public transport, in general, depending on the distance covered by these vehicles and provided that a technical examination is carried out.

Director-General of the Land Transport Regulatory Authority Tariq Habashneh said that the general strategy for public transport will be presented to the National Assembly after it is approved by the Council of Ministers, so that proposals can be submitted to it.

Habashneh said that the Passenger Transport Support Fund, which was established by law in 2017, will also be activated.

“There is clear damage to the transport sector, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said, indicating that the government supported the sector with a financial amount of about JD7 million.

He also pointed out that there are between 30 and 32 unlicensed smart transport applications, with about 40,000 vehicles operating without any license, which negatively affected the performance of the yellow taxi, adding that the concerned authorities were asked to “shut them down”.

However, Habashneh acknowledged the difficulty of shutting them down, as the applications keep changing their access points, noting that work is under way, in cooperation with the Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship and the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, to suspend these smart applications.

Regarding extending the operational life of public vehicles, Habashneh said that a study will be conducted, and the parliamentary transport committee will be informed of its results.

Regarding subscription of drivers and transportation sector workers in the Social Security Corporation, Habashneh said that the move was taken in order to preserve the life of the insured and to compensate them in the event of an injury; he stressed, however, that subscription “will be optional”.

The head of the Syndicate of Owners of Taxi Offices, Ahmad Abu Haidar, said: “The sector’s demands were not fulfilled despite being raised several years ago with various transport ministers and directors of authorities, including extending the operating life of means of public transportation, since the pandemic negatively affected the owners of these vehicles, and led to them accumulating debts.”

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