Train and Transportation improvement

Improvement of the train and transportation systems

The lack of public transport in Lebanon has an important economic impact on the country, with congestion clogging the country’s main transport sites. Without a sustainable transport system in place, this will only get worse; the average delay per vehicle will nearly double and the average speed will be halved according to a 2015 working paper from the Issam Fares Institute at the American University of Beirut.

The effect is too big to be avoided; there is no solution to traffic congestion goes without a public transport system in place. The backbone of any public transport system is a railway network for the transport of passengers. It is, therefore, crucial to have railways too, given Syria and Iraq’s reconstruction needs. The absence of public transport is also fuelling the high petrol bill that is negatively affecting the balance of payments, as petrol constitutes a large part of Lebanese imports. If the country develops public rail transport, it could significantly reduce fuel usage and emissions, if the latest technology trains that run on non-emission hydrogen fuel cells is adopted.

Lebanon lacks adequate public transportation, but private, un-metered taxis and shared cabs are abundant in and around the capital. Buses and taxis are the two main means of transport used in Beirut. Buses are cheap and can be recognized by their colors: white and red. However, they are not regular and there are few of them. There is no existing route map and their itinerary is on a sign stuck to the buses’ rear window. Taxis can be recognized by their red number plates and the yellow light on their roof. Drivers understand French better than the English language however it is advised to show an address written on a piece of paper in Arabic. As they have no meters you have to negotiate the fare before you get in. There is a taxi service which can be shared by 5 people, the Lebanese call it “Services”.

What do we want to achieve with our proposal to improve the train and transportation system in Lebanon?

  • Restore the public transportation services in a profitable way for the Lebanese community
  • Build a good railway network to connect the different parts of the country and to permit passengers and workers to travel more easily to work
  • Restore the transportation system to give jobs to more people in Lebanon
  • Balance the use between private services, like taxi, with public and working ones, like busses

Rehabilitating the railway and public transportation network will have a positive impact on employment. A new railway network would create thousands of jobs at no cost to the state as they will be supported by the private sector and governments. Let’s work together on achieving great results within this sector.

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