30 August, 2009

Intercity Public Transportation in mess

Been a while since i have blogged about public transportation in jordan, and since i've blogged in general due to the fact that i was pretty busy lately, as well as out of the country.

Intercity public transportation has been in a mess lately across jordan, and i am not claiming it was perfect, but at least it was doing the job.

During this summer, things seemed to be going towards a mess in the sector due to several facts. and some of the solutions were causing problems in other parts of the sector, and so on.

Probably this mess was quite an effect on the public due to the fact that it happened on major lines connecting the capital Amman with the major jordanian cities around it. along with the general usual mess that occurred after petrol prices went high again, leaving the PTRC un-handling the case properly like before and causing a mess among the sector's operators and users.

Users of Major lines connecting the capital Amman to Irbid, Salt and Zarqa have been suffering lately. It all started when Irbid-Amman's big buses started a strike by the end of last june along with a strike for the Amman-Irbid white cabs asking for their fairs to be increased after the raise in gasoline prices.
The Big Buses drivers and owners had this strike for the 4th or 5th time, asking again & again to have their operations combined with the small coaster buses, which are, despite being individually owned, operating under a single-owned phantom line operator called "3aroos el Shamal Transport", a company that doesn't own a single bus! More about the coaster/big bus battle can be found here. The strike continued till several days before ramadan, after no solution was found by the PTRC.

On the other hand, 2 other Major lines, Zarqa-UJ-Sweileh and Salt-Raghadan, which are also licensed to big companies that, probably own buses, but sub-contract the operation to individuals driving them, without the needs to care about their maintenance and quality of operation [details available in this response of mine], have been facing trouble after most of their buses are not even willing to start and run any more. this forced the PTRC to find substitutes for operation on those 2 hot lines that work almost 24/7. and from where could those substitutes be but from other lines! on Salt-Raghadan line for example substitutes were some big Irbid-Amman buses (yup, those on strike, but only with a Wasta!), and big Jerash-Amman buses leaving the small town of jerash almost disconnected from the capital with only 2 small buses operating on this line!

While on the other hand, on the Zarqa line, the substitute were buses from the CMTC, which still has some of its lines in the capital Amman badly operated!

Anyway, the transportation between zarqa and Amman was enhanced, or tried to be, by a 60 years old 20km/h running train, operating during ramadan twice a day, by a trip from Zarqa towards Amman at 7.30 AM in the morning and a trip back at 3.30 PM. a nice idea after the death of the Amman-Zarqa light railway project, esp that as declared that the train carts are rehabilitated and air conditioned even. but unfortunately, the announcements of this service didnt exceed some short press releases in the newspapers, resulting in only 6 passengers at its 1st day of operation.

23 August, 2009

Radio Guide Update: Amen FM on 101.7 FM in Ma'an

Amen FM, the police dept radio station started broadcasting in Ma'an and Ras Al-Naqab area lately on 101.7 FM.

By this Amen FM is now covering most of the kingdom in 4 FM airwaves across the country