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Labib Mansour 16 Jan 2023

Lebanon’s Donated French Buses To Stop Operating Soon?

According to L’Orient Today, Beirut’s newly minted French buses may be off the roads just one month after launching. In December, the Ministry of Transport and the country’s public transport authority had sent out 10 of the 50 donated buses onto five routes in the capital. Today, a lack of funds may bring even this limited operation down.

The state authority running the buses receives around 13 billion L.L. in funding, the equivalent of $270,800 at the current exchange rate. This has led to problems with maintenance, staffing, and even just paying for fuel to run the vehicles. Speaking to L’Orient Today, the authority official Antoine Sahyouni confirmed this, stating that the buses have “maybe a week, maybe ten days, maybe five days. It depends, but not more than that.”

The Ministry of Transport is now looking to launch a tender for the private operation of the buses. Previously, speaking to Annahar, Minister Hamieh had confirmed that tenders were launched to get diesel and maintenance for the buses but that the private sector seems reluctant to engage with these Lira contracts. He also added that the continued operation of the buses would be relient on increased state funding.

If you want to check out the buses before they get lost into the void of the state’s bankruptcy, currently the buses operate on five routes from 7 AM to 5 PM. The early stop time is a consequence of the port explosion blowing off the roof at the authority’s repair facilities, necessitating daytime daily maintenance.