Rush Hour

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Plans are underway to transfer the responsibility of handling Amman's transportation from the Public Transport Regulatory Commission (PTRC) over to the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM). This doesn't appear to be a voluntary action by the PTRC, so they're a bit pissed about it.

According to the Jordan Times,
A government plan to transfer powers of regulating the public transportation sector in the capital to Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) drew fire from the Public Transport Regulatory Commission (PTRC).

The commission, which is the government's are currently in charge of the sector nationwide, was responding to remarks by Transport Minister Saud Nseirat, who said a draft law is in the making to put GAM in charge of regulating transportation in the capital, which is home for 280 public buses and 10,000 taxis at least.

The law, which is still under study by transportation experts, is expected to be finalized within the few coming weeks and go immediately into effect.

PTRC Director General Hashem Masaid described the plan as "hasty" and called on the government to reconsider, claiming GAM's takeover of responsibility over the sector is not likely to render better services, citing the municipality's inexperience.

The ministry said in response that there is no problem in that regard, because the municipality "can recruit experts" to run the transportation show, which includes, for example, setting specifications and standards of vehicles, conducting related studies, regulating the transportation routes and supervising companies working in the sector.

Nseirat added that by transferring regulatory authorities to GAM, the country follows in the footsteps of advanced nations, where transportation falls under the jurisdiction of municipalities.

The minister stopped short of accusing PTRC of any failure to do its job, but the commission's top man acknowledged "the situation is not perfect and there are complaints by citizens about the services."

My take on the situation is to side with the GAM on this one. The GAM seems serious about improving the city, making some surprising (and needed) changes over the past six months. I would like to see them have a go at our current city-wide traffic disaster.

The PTRC has been doing a sucky job and even though the GAM stopped short of accusing them of incompetence, I'll be glad to follow through with it. I have no doubt that hundreds of thousands of drivers in Amman will join me in that accusation.

I have yet to see the "experience" that the PTRC claims to have, but if they can't do the job, I say give someone else a shot.

Source: The Jordan Times, August 16, 2007


Blogger Hareega said...

I started to underestimate the importance of experience in running something. The main problem with transportation in Jordan is that our roads suck, they're narrow and bumpy, and the laws are not enforced on drivers.

8/28/2007 11:48 PM  

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