In the Jordanian capital, AFD is participating in the creation of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lines. This investment in public transport will relieve traffic congestion and sharply reduce CO2 emissions. It will have a major structural effect for the city, its development and its quality of life.
Relieving street congestion, reducing pollution, promoting professional mobility and economic development… The future BRT Service is set to change the face of Amman. Two lines comprising 140 articulated vehicles will benefit from lanes separated from car traffic and priority at crossroads. They will carry up to 315,000 passengers every day towards the busiest parts of the city, such as the University of Jordan, the Sport City complex and the Mahatta terminal. Users will thereby have a level of service close to a tramway or metro, with very regular buses and real-time traffic information.
The new Press Tunnel (Sahafeh) site will house a large network station and will be connected with the secondary bus lines. The infrastructure of this site and its access roads were commissioned on 2 October 2018 in the presence of the French Ambassador in Jordan, David Bertolotti, and the Mayor of Greater Amman, Dr. Youssef Shawarbeh.
The Mayor recalled that the Jordanian Government was taking a close interest in the search for realistic solutions to public transport problems and wanted to boost the capital’s transport system which is, for the time being, “inefficient and outdated”.
Towards sustainable urban mobility services
The traffic is today extremely dense in Jordan’s main city. The population of Amman has doubled in ten years and stands at some 4.5 million inhabitants. Due to the lack of appropriate public transport, heavy road traffic has congested the city as Jordanians prefer to use private cars.
In terms of collective transport, taxis and shared taxis run alongside a bus and minibus network which has not followed population growth. The share of public transport remains limited at 13% of travel. The future 24 km-long BRT network will significantly improve the quality of life and promote mobility and employment, particularly for women. The municipality is also already preparing studies for a third line…
The shift from private cars to public transport will automatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. An annual reduction of 48,000 tons CO2 eq. is expected. Buses with a low-carbon motorization, the purchase of which is currently being studied, could further contribute to this.
French expertise in public transport
The project, for which the first studies started in 2008, is eagerly awaited by residents and has recently experienced a decisive acceleration. In 2010, AFD allocated a USD 166m loan to Greater Amman (restructured in 2015), which covers two-thirds of the provisional budget earmarked for the infrastructure works, signage and studies to prepare the commissioning. The balance is financed by the Jordanian authorities. These arrangements have allowed the municipality to complete the design studies and launch the roadworks, the completion of which is expected by the end of 2020.
In addition to AFD’s expertise and experience, the city of Amman is also benefiting from a partnership with the City of Paris on urban mobility in the context of decentralized cooperation. The operation of the bus network will also be able to call on the expertise of French companies “France is the main non-Arabic investor in Jordan, which proves the strength of the economic relations between our two countries. Expertise in public transport is an asset to be shared with Jordan”, pointed out Ambassador David Bertolotti.
The Amman BRT will benefit from a connection with the complementary interurban BRT project connecting Amman and Zarka, a center located 25 km to the north-east of the Jordanian capital. The operation of the lines (purchase of rolling stock, human resources, operation, maintenance, etc.) for the two cities will be entrusted to a single operator, appointed during an upcoming international bid invitation. The commissioning in this case is expected in 2021.