As part of our commitment at the UITP MENA division to serve our members and bring international knowledge and best practices to support public transport initiatives across the region, we organised a seminar on Integrated Mobility in Amman. The seminar which was held under the patronage of H.E. Dr. Yousef Shawarbeh, the Mayor of Amman, was attended by more than 100 participants and 20 international speakers from 12 countries including France, Germany, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The seminar addressed how to tackle the strategic needs of public transport players, to be able to innovate and facilitate the integration of mobility services across all platforms in the region. H.E. Dr. Yousef Shawarbeh assured that public transport is regarded as a national priority in Jordan. Also emphasised on Greater Amman Municipality’s commitment to enhancing public transport in Amman, they recently purchased 135 wheel-chair accessible Euro V buses which will be operational by January 2019. Work is underway on an urban Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and an intercity BRT connecting Amman to Zarqaa. To ensure the interoperability of these systems, both BRTs will be operated by a single operator by 2021.
On behalf of UITP Jerome Pourbaix, Director Regional offices and services UITP, welcomed the participants and explained that public transport is about creating value for the citizens, operators and authorities. Mr. Alok Jain, Managing Director, Trans-consult Hong Kong the keynote speaker, gave a motivating speech on Delivering World Class Bus service. He stressed on the importance of bus service in enhancing the public transport. Good bus service also requires measures to involve citizens to identify and love their buses, which contributes to building a public transport mind set.
Mohammad Obaid Al Mulla, member of the Board of Directors, Road and Transport Authority Dubai updated the participants about the current projects and future plans for Public Transport in Dubai and how the different modes have been integrated to provide an end to end service to commuters in Dubai. He chaired the sessions on Jordan Public Transport updates. The session highlighted following projects:
• Urban Transport buses in Amman: The buses are environmentally-friendly (Euro V), and equipped with an automatic fare collection system, camera surveillance and are wheel-chair accessible.
• Amman BRT: The 2 BRT lines spanning 25km connect Suwayleh to Al Mahatta Terminal on one side, and to the National museum on the other side. These lines are currently under construction and should be operational by 2021
• Amman – Zarqaa BRT: the 25km long intercity BRT line will connect Amman to Zarqaa along 4 stops, and is expected to be operational by 2021.
• Urban bus reforms: in Irbid, Zarqaa, Madaba and Salt: The Ministry of Transport and LTRC are currently working together with an external consultant to plan the reform and modernization of the public transport sector of these four Jordanian cities. A total of 377 modern buses will be deployed once the project is completed (within two years). The tender for the operation of 40-60 buses in each city will be initially floated in mid-2019.
In the second session on How to make BRT work? The international experts highlighted the key ingredients for an effective BRT system. A supportive institutional framework, understanding of citizen’s need, sound infrastructure design and an efficient operational plan are key for the success of BRT system. In the third session on Effective tool and policies to support integrated mobility the speakers showcased different tools and platforms which are developed in the region to integrate all modes and provided first and last miles service to customers. The last session was a roundtable discussion for experts sharing experiences and highlighting the dos and don’ts while putting the plans to actions.
The seminar was well received by the participants who were fully engaged throughout the seminar. We would like to thank our sponsors Trapeze Middle East, ZF Services Middle East, Volvo buses and Greater Amman Municipality for their support. We look forward to meeting everyone in the UITP MENA Assembly and workshop on 19th February 2019.