Back in May, France donated 50 buses to Lebanon
in a bid to bolster public transportation. These buses came as a result of an agreement between the countries’ respective transport ministers. Nearly six months later, 10 of them are finally running in Beirut.
Minister of Transport Ali Hamie has announced that the associated fee for commuting is to be 20,000 L.L. According to L’Orient Today
, they will operate on four routes.
– Route #1:
From Dora to the Military Club, passing through Karantina, Forum de Beirut, Charles Helou Avenue, Rafik Hariri Street, Mina el-Hosn, Paris Street, Manara. On the return leg, the bus runs from Cola to Dora, running through Corniche el Mazraa, Barbir, the National Museum, the Justice Palace, Corniche el-Nahr, Dora.
– Route #3:
From Martyrs’ Square to Damour, running through Weygand st., Omar Daouk st., General Fouad Chehab st., Salim Slem, Hafez el-Assad ave., Kuwait Embassy roundabout, Imam Moussa Sadr st., Ouzai, Khaldeh, Naameh, Damour.
– Route #4:
From Nahr el Mot to Khaldeh, passing through Dora roundabout, Karantina, Forum de Beirut, Beirut river, Corniche Pierre Gemayel, the Justice Palace, Sami el-Solh ave., Furn el-Chebbak, Chevrolet, Camille Chamoun blvd., Semaan Gallery, Hadath, Al-Kafa’at, Lebanese University, Kfarchima, Choueifat, Khaldeh bridge, Khaldeh coast
– Route #6:
From Mar Mkhail to Hadath, running through Railways Office, Corniche el-Nahr, the Justice Palace, Tayyouneh roundabout, Hadi Nasrallah ave., Bir el Abed, Lebanese University Hadath
The buses are run by a crew of 28 drivers, each still getting paid just 2.4 million L.L. per month. The Ministry cited high running costs as the reason for only deploying 10 buses thus far, with fuel and maintenance of 50 seeming to be too much for the public sector. The Ministry plans to launch a tender for the private operation of the remaining 40 buses. Nothing will go wrong there, surely.
Although this is a helpful boost to Lebanon’s ailing public transport network, it remains to be seen how effective this will be in the long term. Let’s see if these 10 buses will still be running next year.