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what would be the best solution for the public transport in Beirut. A decades long problem with no serious and radical solutions. would a BRT work ? I doubt that ; very limited spaces. an underground system ? very expensive and difficult to build. I think an elevated metro rail system would be the best solution. Will we ever see something like that built in Lebanon ? with such politicians and I do not believe we will see something realized soon.
 

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Son of the cedars
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Beirut public transportation
$70 million required for implementation

The Parliamentary Energy and Public Works Committee discussed on July 15 the public transportation plan for Beirut and the suburbs set by the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation.

The plan requires more than $70 million to be spent, according to Bilal Hamad, Chairman of the Beirut Municipal Council. He said: “We should start executing these plans, not just discuss it.”

The plan comprises purchasing 250 buses to be utilized in 20 lines inside Beirut. About 200 buses will be dedicated for Beirut and 50 buses to link Beirut with Tripoli, Saida, and Chtoura.

The plan also includes developing 911 bus stations, of which 310 are in Beirut. Stations should be supplied with messaging capabilities to inform passengers about schedules, delays, and other information. As a first step, buses will operate from 6:00 am until midnight.

A railway network between Beirut and Maameltein will be developed to contribute to easing traffic at the North Beirut entrance. Infrastructure will be developed for heavy rail to transport larger goods and products, as well as light rail to transfer passengers. Three private operators will manage this project.

MP Mohammad Kabbani, chairman of the committee, said: “We are giving Beirut the priority since it is suffering more than other cities from traffic congestion.”

The Beirut Municipality will assign engineering and management consultancy firm Team International to study the appropriate implementation of the plan. Team is the company that executed the civil transportation plan for Beirut.

Hamad said that several studies should be conducted to assess the convenience of city busses, including type, number, and their impact on traffic.

Reported by Rania Ghanem

Source: http://www.businessnews.com.lb/cms/Story/StoryDetails.aspx?ItemID=4226
 

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Son of the cedars
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$200 million urban transport plan
CDR is in talks with World Bank



The Council for Development and Reconstruction is preparing studies to launch a project to develop urban transportation in the Greater Beirut area. The plan focuses on establishing bus routes between Beirut and Tabarja.

The CDR is discussing financial support and planning with the World Bank to implement the $200 million project.

The first component of the project is expected to be funded through a $150 million loan from the World Bank’s International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). The financing will be used for goods and works for the construction of the required infrastructure and associated civil works, as well as consulting services. The bus route will be about 24 km long and will run into sections of the existing Tabarja-Beirut highway and sections of the old railway alignment.

Infrastructure works will include the construction and reinforcement of the dedicated bus routes, the construction of bus stations and access infrastructure and the construction of park and ride facilities and feeder bus stops.

The second component, valued at $40 million, will finance the construction of bus corridors within Beirut and the purchase of new buses to support the Government’s plan for improving regular bus services within Beirut.

The project foresees the strengthening of the capacity of the Ministry of Transport and relative agencies such as the Railways and Public Transport Authority to manage concession contracts with private operators, or to establish a new transport authority that would take the leadership on the planning and regulation of all urban transport. Around $8 million are needed for institutional strengthening, which includes additional studies for further expanding the public transportation and mass transit coverage in the Greater Beirut area.

Technical assistance, outreach activities and other operational support for management of project implementation would cost around $2 million.
Reported by Yassmine Alieh


source: http://www.businessnews.com.lb/cms/Story/StoryDetails.aspx?ItemID=4683
 

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Son of the cedars
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Zeaiter launches express transport project

BEIRUT: Public Works and Transportation Minister Ghazi Zeaiter announced Tuesday the launching of an express transport project linking Beirut to Jounieh at a cost of $250 million. The project, which will be funded by the World Bank, will be implemented within three years. “We will start with the implementation of the project following the approval of the Cabinet,” he said. His remarks came during a meeting held to discuss the project with a delegation from the World Bank and transportation experts. “I don’t think that anyone would object to this project because it will contribute to solving the traffic problem in Lebanon,” he said. Zeaiter said the project would be part of a wider strategy which would include all other Lebanese territories in the future. He added that experts from the Council for Development and Reconstruction would take part in the project as well.

source: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Busines...aiter-launches-express-transport-project.ashx
 

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Zeaiter launches express transport project

BEIRUT: Public Works and Transportation Minister Ghazi Zeaiter announced Tuesday the launching of an express transport project linking Beirut to Jounieh at a cost of $250 million. The project, which will be funded by the World Bank, will be implemented within three years. “We will start with the implementation of the project following the approval of the Cabinet,” he said. His remarks came during a meeting held to discuss the project with a delegation from the World Bank and transportation experts. “I don’t think that anyone would object to this project because it will contribute to solving the traffic problem in Lebanon,” he said. Zeaiter said the project would be part of a wider strategy which would include all other Lebanese territories in the future. He added that experts from the Council for Development and Reconstruction would take part in the project as well.

source: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Busines...aiter-launches-express-transport-project.ashx
Beyrouth needs metro, tramway, cable car like Algiers and Oran in Algeria
 

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Son of the cedars
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The World Bank May Finance Rapid Transit System To Reduce Beirut Traffic

“BI SHARAF SITT JEDDAK T7ARRAK BA2A!!!”… You know you’re stuck in heavy traffic when you hear someone yell that out while sticking his head from the window and cars are honking like you’re in some kind of parade.

EVERYONE has experienced Lebanon’s traffic jams. They last so long that you’ve probably heard NRJ’s “HIT MUSIC ONLY” at least 50 times. You have to be a self-control beast to keep yourself from ripping the hair off your head.

Well have no fear; the World Bank is here! Lebanon’s “sugar daddy” has shown interest in financing a proposed public transportation project after a meeting with our Minister of Public Works and Transport Youssef Fenianos.

You might not have to go bald after all!

THE JUICY DETAILS


Public transport in Lebanon is beyond terrible, and the numerous buses, minibuses, taxis, and roads only contribute to making Lebanon’s traffic jams a living nightmare. All these factors lead to a high operational cost for car owners such as fuel consumption, insurance, and car maintenance services.



Our hero, the World Bank, may invest in a total of $600 million in projects to ease our agonizing traffic jams. It’s called the Greater Beirut Urban Transport Project (GBUTP), and its initial goal is to improve mobility to Beirut’s northern entrance between Tabarja and Beirut (Phase 1 with a total cost of $200 million). The project will, later on, cover the South and East of Lebanon.

HOW WILL WE GET FROM POINT A TO B?

The GBUTP is based on a system called Bus Rapid Transit, which uses large buses that operate on dedicated lanes. Unlike our conventional bus system, “Users would buy tickets from stations instead of paying on the bus” stated Ziad Nakat, a senior transport specialist at the World Bank. So it’s a bit like the Connexion bus system, only faster.
Moreover, the Jounieh highway will be widened for the purpose of this project. Around 150 big buses and 250 feeder buses will be used for transportation. Furthermore, parking lots will be built next to the stations for those who want to park their car and use the Beirut Rapid Transit system.



THE GOOD STUFF?

A round trip between Jounieh and Beirut would cost around 5,000LL. That’s pretty cheap wouldn’t you agree? Regarding how much time it would take, the trip will last around 40 minutes instead of an hour and a half when traffic is at its worst. You gain roughly 50 minutes to do whatever it is that you need to do.

Oh, and did I mention that there would be free Wi-Fi?



BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CURRENT BUS/TAXI DRIVERS AND THEIR JOBS?

Mr. Nakat believes that these drivers will have two options:

Move to other areas for business.
Work within the new system.
For the drivers concerned with the first option, it’s probably not the outcome they are looking for. It’s always difficult to start over and create for yourself a new system of work. However for the people that will partake in the second option, working in an organized platform could be an attractive offer and possibly very beneficial.

Source: http://snip.ly/8qefj#http://documen...21/pdf/PIDC3287-PID-ARABIC-P146691-PUBLIC.pdf
 

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Raje' Yet'amar LIBNAN!
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Finally! This is exactly what the northern entrance to the capital needs. Can you imagine how many cars are going to start utilizing this highway once Waterfront City Dbayeh is complete?
 

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Guys several studies have been done so far by khatib and alami as well as the municipality of beirut with some german experts from mercedes benz. Nth concrete so far just promises and general talk. This article dates back to 23rd of january 2015 ... They dt have money and dt want to invest in sth useful. they only care about stealing ...
 

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Its a reality. Its part of the Country Framework for Lebanon. It will take 4 years and related to the Highways II program thats ready to start ( Nahr El Kalb- Tabarja) and the Beirut ring road (Hadath-Dekouane). It was only set for World bank approval last year. Dont know the latest
 

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Son of the cedars
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Plans to revive Lebanon’s ghost railways gather steam

Lebanon's train stations have not seen a train depart since the 1990s, and Beirut’s central station was turned into an open-air nightclub in 2014, with a DJ booth added to an old locomotive.

“When I was young, my family used to tell me stories about the trains in Beirut, so I decided to rent the station and give it a new life,” Alain Hasbani, the co-owner of Trainstation Mar Mikhael, told Al-Monitor.

Hasbani simply added a bar counter, chairs and tables to the space. The mood gets festive at night, but few partygoers realize the importance of this historic location that was the hub of the railways in the Middle East in the 19th century.

“Those old railroad cars look really nice — it gives an industrial touch to the bar but surely this is only decoration, right?” asked Lara Khoury, a young Lebanese woman who enjoys coming here for drinks.

Like Lara, most other patrons at Trainstation Mar Mikhael think the railroad cars and tracks are the decor of the bar. In general, the Lebanese know very little about their country’s former railway system.

As the Ottoman Empire was weakening, foreign experts were given economic concessions to modernize the country's infrastructure. This is how Edmond de Perthuis, a French aristocrat and former navy officer, came to build and run a railway line connecting Damascus to Beirut with the first train departing in 1895. The journey took just under 9 hours to travel the 147 kilometers (91 miles) that separate the two cities. It was also the first train journey in the region.

“This railway has had a stiff climb over the main range of the Lebanon Mountains coming from Beirut […] it continues over to the Anti-Lebanon range to Damascus, and the rack and pinion devices are needed still, for that city is some 2,000 feet above sea level," journalist Roswell Rand wrote in a 1916 New York Times article.

Other testimonies and pictures describe a beautiful ride through fields of olive trees and fruit orchards; merchants would wait for the passengers at each station hoping to sell their local produce.

Two other lines were built: one in 1902 that connected Beirut to Homs in Syria, and the other in 1911 that linked Tripoli to Homs. By 1930, the Lebanese railway was also connected to the famous Orient Express network; the luxurious sleeper cars arrived from cities in Europe to Istanbul, and three times a week set off toward Damascus and Beirut.

The expansion of the Lebanese railway took a significant turn with the start of World War II. The Allies, who needed to move their troops in the region as fast as possible, built a new line along the seaside that linked the Lebanese coastal cities and traveled to Haifa in Palestine and up to Egypt.

The railway project, however, was short-lived. The creation of the state of Israel in 1948 caused a shutdown of the southern Lebanese border. The Israelis bombed the bridge and a train tunnel near Naqoura for fear of an Arab invasion using the tracks from the north. Up until today, this zone, now under the control of the United Nations, contains the remains of the former bridge that still hangs in the air above the sea.

With private vehicles becoming more common in the 1960s, trains become less popular. Travelers realized that a car ride was often up to four times faster than the train, especially for mountain destinations.

The Lebanese civil war (1975-1990) was the final blow to the Lebanese railway system. In 1976, virtually all the trains came to a halt. The train tracks were severely damaged by the fighting, and many of the stations were turned into military bases.

Elias Maalouf, who grew up in Ecuador, lives in the village of Rayak, in the central Bekaa Valley. The history of Lebanon or its trains mattered little to him. It was only as he was filming a documentary about the retreat of the Syrian army in 2005 — which had occupied Lebanon since 1976 — that he learned about the history of the Lebanese railway system.

"I was filming Syrian soldiers leaving a military base, located in the old train station of Rayak. I saw one of them burn documents in an old wagon, so I ran to get closer. I saw he was destroying military archives. There was shooting around me so I had to leave, and of course when I came back it was too late. To this day, I feel guilty and I promised myself that I would protect the history of the Lebanese trains,” he told Al-Monitor.

In 2010, he founded a nongovernmental organization called Train/Train, which advocates the rehabilitation of some parts of the Lebanese rail network and the creation of a train museum in Rayak.

The end of the war in neighboring Syria would one day mean that the Lebanese economy would get a boost. According to World Bank estimations, the reconstruction efforts will cost at least $170 billion, and Lebanon is anticipating an increase in trade.

The northern city of Tripoli is already gearing itself up to become the main point of entry toward Syria. The city's port is undergoing a massive extension and a Special Economic Zone is expected to be launched in the near future. Old roads are giving way to brand-new highways, and there is serious talk of rehabilitating the rail network toward Homs.

Since 2014, the project has been in the hands of the Council for Development and Reconstruction, which has dealt with all of Lebanon’s infrastructure projects since the end of the civil war.

"It is a question of months. We are talking about it every day,” said Toufic Dabbousi, the president of Tripoli’s Chamber of Commerce, in an interview to the local press. According to him, negotiations are underway with potential Chinese investors.

Regardless of when the Syrian conflict actually ends, Ziad Nasr, the head of the National Railway and Public Transportation Authority, claims that rehabilitating the train line to Homs has become a priority. ”The project has been given a high priority,” he told the local press. “We believe it is very important for this line to be implemented, done and ready.

Source: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/ori...evival-for-lebanese-trains.html#ixzz4ryq6CwY9
 

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Bus lanes key to improving Beirut commute: World Bank
Successfully enacted in other cities, plan yet to receive unanimous support from officials

The Daily Star (Lebanon)16 Sep 2017By Federica Marsi

A second part of the project will see the creation of complementary bus routes.

BEIRUT: To those familiar with Beirut’s maddening traffic congestion, introducing dedicated bus lanes may seem like an improbable solution to the city’s transport problem.

The government’s efforts to reduce traffic have so far focused on optimizing the use of the road network but, overall, infrastructure spending has been far below development needs.

While a number of government officials still have reservations, the World Bank and the governmental Council for Development and Reconstruction are spearheading a new approach, based on dedicated bus lanes, as part of

the Greater Beirut Urban Transport project, which is on track to receive a World Bank loan of between $200 million and $250 million in early 2018, covering a good part of its total cost – estimated to be $300 million.

“Beirut is a very congested city, but [similar projects have] been done in more congested settings and succeeded,” Ziad Nakat, senior World Bank transportation specialist, told The Daily Star.

According to Nakat, traffic should be conceived as a discrepancy between demand and supply – which in Lebanon translates into both a paucity of spacious roads and an excessive number of private cars.

“We need to shift from a culture of moving cars to a culture of moving people,” he said. In order to encourage more people to embrace the culture of public transport, however, an incentive will be essential. “Lebanon is a

high-middle-income country where people value their time,” Nakat said. “To create that culture shift you need high-quality [service] – and a big part of quality is time.”

Dedicated bus lanes, the thinking goes, would ensure quick, affordable transfers of people. According to information collected by the World Bank, transportation accounts for about 15 percent of total household expenditure in

Lebanon, surpassing housing and health care. Additionally, import dues on vehicles can exceed 50 percent of their total value – a cost compounded by the petrol tax and the high cost of parking.

As for the feasibility of the plan, the World Bank assessment has so far identified a number of eligible roads. “We are starting with the streets we think are geometrically the widest [in order to] pilot the concept,” Nakat said.

A first part of the project en tails the construction of a Bus Rapid Transit system, composed of one or two bus lines running from Tabarja to Beirut, and then within the city along its outer ring, through the Corniche al-Bahr

and Corniche al-Mazraa areas. In order to maximize space, the project envisages the removal of on-road parking as well as the narrowing of the median strip – the separation barrier between lanes.

A second part of the project will see the creation of complementary bus routes, which will provide connections between the northern and southern sectors of the city. At present, as many as 20 different bus routes are being

considered.

While removing street parking would necessitate the construction of more parking lots, Nakat said the goal of the project was precisely to create an encumbrance for private car owners. “Part of the success of public transport

in other cities is making private transport difficult. We cannot afford luxury anymore,” Nakat said, adding that a number of world capitals had taken steps in this direction.

While the Greater Beirut Urban Transport project was described by Nakat as an initiative “fully owned by the Lebanese government,” some government officials seem skeptical.

In August, Public Works and Transportations Minister Youssef Fenianos launched a Beirut transportation project based on four new bus routes departing from the Abed Clock Tower area. These routes would follow the old

railway tracks.

Nakat said the ministry’s plan is complementary to the one sponsored by the World Bank, but Fenianos expressed a lack of trust in the GBUT during the launch of his alternative project in August.

“We cannot wait for the public transport plan sponsored by the World Bank, which has been in the pipeline for five years,” he said.

Fenianos did not reply to The Daily Star’s requests for comment.

However, Beirut Mayor Jamal Itani expressed similar qualms.

“Until now, we are not convinced that a dedicated lane system is possible in Beirut,” Itani told The Daily Star. In contrast to Nakat, who claimed that it was an untenable luxury to be able to park in the city, Itani said Beirut

does not “have the luxury to have dedicated bus lanes.”

“I’m not going to destroy the greenery in the median and have a bus lane,” Itani said. Instead, the mayor said he supports the “alternative plan” put forward by the Public Works Ministry, and said a tender for the plan will be

ready in 2018.

A first step, he said, would be the installation of bus stops. “You might ask, ‘Why [should we construct] the bus stops before having the buses?’” Itani said. “The bus stops are income-generating investments, [as] you can use

them for advertis[ing]. Plus it’s a good introduction, which will help people understand where the bus stops are and [their] schedules.”

Despite some skepticism, the Bus Rapid Transport project is supported by the Council for Development and Reconstruction, as well as some Lebanese academics.

Charbel Mansour is engineering professor at the Lebanese American University and co-author of a yet to be published study that includes an assessment of the Bus Rapid Transport system as a mitigation option for Beirut.

“The BRT has been successful in many developing countries with similar poor and congested infrastructure,” Mansour said.

But he also noted that “implementing a mass transport system alone will reduce vehicle trips but will not dissuade the majority of people from continuing to own their old cars.”

In the World Bank’s view, however, the BRT will clear the way for a variety of complementary projects. While the implementation of the BRT is up to the CDR, Nakat said the expected time frame for the project would be four

to five years. However, some parts of the project could be established at an earlier stage.

Regarding the concerns espoused by some parties, Nakat said all doubts would dissipate when the preliminary studies have been concluded. “We are conducting a feasibility study together with the CDR and undergoing

discussions with the municipality so that their concerns can be addressed,” Nakat said. He added that, while the project may look like a “dream,” it is entirely feasible.
 
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