Tuesday 19th of June 2018 Sahafi.jo | Ammanxchange.com
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Metro thoughts - Editorial, The Jordan Times



It is comforting to hear, anew, that the topography of Amman “allows” building an underground system in the capital.
Reconfirming the good news — first confirmed in 2010 by a French company that did a feasibility study on the possibility — this time was the Chinese Railway Engineering Corporation, which conducted the feasibility study following the signing, in December 2016, of a memorandum of understanding on the issue with the Greater Amman Municipality.
If implemented, the metro will consist of a single line linking the north of the city to the south.
If feasible, it would be conducted on a DBOT basis and in parallel with the Bus Rapid Transit, with a common station connecting the two systems.
All sounds good, even though it is a very early stage to express enthusiasm. The first time a feasibility study was conducted, the price was prohibitive: JD140 million per kilometre of line.
Neither the municipality nor the people could pay such an exorbitant price, and if investors are found, they will want their money worth of investment, which will reflect on the users’ pockets.
That is not to dampen down the idea. A metro would greatly help decongest the streets and should, in the long run, become an affordable means of transportation.
The idea has to be given serious thought and if possible, implemented initially as a single line, as envisaged, leaving the possibility of later expansion open.
But before the dream metro comes to fruition, other solutions to the terrible traffic situation in the capital should be considered.
There must be quite a few good ideas around on how to ameliorate the traffic and the problem of transportation in Amman, a city that has grown exponentially over the years, both in population and in area.
And before anything, one wishes to see the less ambitious BRT function, and function efficiently. Once that is out of the way, the metro idea should be considered in earnest, in all its details, and if possible, implemented without delay.
That way, the next generation might enjoy reading a book on a comfortable ride, instead of blowing horns, and tempers, in sweltering heat in a car.

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