By Mohammad Ghazal – Sep 16,2015

AMMAN — Traffic jams on Amman’s streets cost motorists around JD1 billion annually, according to an estimate by an official at the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM).

The estimate includes money paid by motorists on fuel wasted by idling cars and the cost of lost time, Ayman Smadi, executive director of transport and traffic department at GAM, said Wednesday.

“Motorists lose a lot of money on fuel consumed while their cars are stranded in traffic,” he told The Jordan Times over the phone, adding that GAM calculates the value of wasted time at millions of dinars.

“If there were no traffic congestions, people would be able to do their businesses faster with much lower fuel bills,” Smadi said.

The official, who said there are over one million vehicles in the capital, added these cars make seven million trips a day.

To address traffic jams, the municipality is going ahead with plans to implement the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project, a multimillion-dinar transportation scheme that entails operating premium, high-capacity buses that can carry more than 120 passengers and run on a three-minute frequency during peak hours on segregated lanes along Amman’s busiest corridors.

Smadi pointed out that GAM will also launch a project in the next two months to regulate parking of vehicles in the capital by installing metres in 11 areas across the city, where motorists need to pay fees for short-time parking.

“This will help regulate the process and leave some vacant spaces for parking in Amman,” he said.

Smadi indicated that GAM is also focusing on improving the public transport system in a bid to reduce jams and to offer better services to commuters.
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