. The pre-mier cited the large number of cars thatenter the Kingdom each year, addingthat meeting the energy bill has becomeJordan’s primary economic challenge.The weak institutional set-up – thesecond reason listed above – has beenaddressed and we now have the rightframework to think and plan in a moreintegrated fashion. In 2007, planningand regulation of public transportationwithin Amman became part of GAM’sresponsibilities, and today GAM hasone integrated Transportation PlanningDepartment that deals with all modesof transport, from private cars to pub-lic transportation and pedestrians. Moreand more, decision makers and staff atGAM are becoming well aware that theproblem in Amman is about movingpeople and goods, not just cars, and thatour transport system needs to be morebalanced and multi-modal and should beplanned accordingly – all while takinginto consideration changes in land useand zoning.The question becomes then: what hashappened since the institutional changesof 2007? GAM developed a Transportand Mobility Master Plan (TMMP) thatoutlined the city’s mobility needs for the period leading up to 2025. The study in-volved conducting a survey of around10,000 households to assess their trans-port behavior. That survey, along with
extensive trafc and public transport data
collection across the city, created a richdatabase that formed the basis of the Am-man transport model, a powerful plan-ning tool that integrates transport, landuse and socio-economic data.As the outcomes of the TMMP beganto emerge, it became clear that the cityneeded a higher order, namely a morerapid public transport mode. Several op-tions were analyzed, and BRT emergedas the preferred option for Amman dueto its low cost, effectiveness and relativeease of implementation given the city’shilly terrain. BRT is a term used to de-scribe public transport systems in whichbuses run on a segregated right-of-way,essentially offering a service similar tothat of trains (but, clearly, at a fractionof the cost). A BRT lane in Amman canaccommodate more than three timesthe number of people in a regular traf-
c lane. BRT was rst implemented in
Curitiba, Brazil in 1974, and has sincebeen successfully constructed in over 120 cities worldwide. Often cited as oneof the most successful examples, theBRT system in Bogotá, Colombia, hasa current capacity of 45,000 passengersper hour in each direction, which ishigher than the capacity of most metrosystems worldwide.
Amman BRT And The Perfect Storm
In early 2009, GAM commissioned acomprehensive study to develop theBRT scheme for the city. The study
aimed to rst validate the BRT network
developed under the TMMP and then todevelop the complete service and op-erations plan for the system (in terms of number of buses required, frequenciesof service, etc.). This would be followedby estimating the demand and revenueforecasts and operating costs; preparingan economic feasibility study and an en-
vironmental impact assessment; and
-nally, developing the detailed engineer-ing designs for the infrastructure, frombus lanes to stations and terminals. Focusgroups were held to obtain a better un-derstanding of the problems people facewhen using different modes of transport.An additional survey was carried out atthe University of Jordan, one of the keynodes along the BRT network, to ascer-tain what students felt they needed in anew public transport system.
As the economic and nancial appraisal
of the BRT began, work on developingthe infrastructure design was undertakenin parallel. It was clear at the outset thatthe engineering design of a 32-kilometer network of exclusive bus lanes would bea challenge given the large number of grade-separated intersections (i.e. inter-sections with multiple levels) in Amman.Starting that process early on was, there-fore, essential. As is the case with suchcomplex projects, an iterative approachwas adopted, so designs were constantlydiscussed and revised as work on other streams progressed.Contrary to what many seem to believe,intersections such as the Press Tunneland Sports City were tackled early on.Alternative solutions were analyzedbased on various criteria, such as thelevel of BRT priority, accessibility to
BRT is a term used to describe public transportsystems in which buses run on a segregated right-of-way, essentially offering a service similar to that of trains (but clearly, at a fraction of the cost).
After conducting a thorough nancial audit for the
municipality, the AFD and GAM signed a creditfacility agreement under which the AFD wouldprovide a $166 million loan to GAM to fund theconstruction of infrastructure for the Amman BRT.