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Jordan, March 12, 2020
Karak bus drivers take U-turn on commission directives to use new complex

AMMAN — Karak’s new bus complex, located 10 kilometres from the city centre, has continued to drive a wedge between the local community and the Land Transport Regulatory Commission (LTRC), even five years after the project's completion.

“The new complex is empty again,” Director of Inter-Governorate Routes in Karak Salem Al Nawaisah told The Jordan Times on Wednesday over the phone.

He added that the project has been 'a failure' since the beginning due to its location in a remote area and the LTRC's failure to implement a 'concrete' plan to end the five-year dispute.

Around 200 bus drivers transferred their operations to the new complex about a week ago following the LTRC’s decision on March 4 requiring all buses to use the new station, Nawaiseh said.

Due to the bus drivers’ loss of regular customers given the additional costs and increased travel distance, 'all of the buses have returned to the former location', he said.

“On Tuesday, all of the bus drivers returned because the LTRC has not been accurate with all of its solutions from the beginning,” Awn Sarairah, a former bus driver, told The Jordan Times on Tuesday.

He also noted that residents of Karak face difficult economic conditions and cannot afford the expenses associated with using the new station.

Earlier in January, Director of the LTRC’s Karak Office Mahmoud Saraireh told The Jordan Times that “the only barrier left for the implementation of the complex’s operational plan is the commitment of bus drivers as well as other relevant entities”.

The LTRC’s plan, laid out nearly two months ago, was meant to be implemented in two phases, focusing on routes connecting Karak with other municipalities as well as routes within the city’s suburbs, according to the LTRC director.

President of the Provincial Assembly Sayel Majali said in statements to The Jordan Times on Wednesday that the dispute over the transition to the new complex worsened after the LTRC obliged bus drivers operating within Karak to use the new station.

“Earlier this week, there was a protest accompanied by riots involving reckless youth in Karak's streets, but such acts do not represent Karaki citizens’ point of view regarding the new complex,” Majali said.

The LTRC did not respond despite multiple attempts by The Jordan Times on Wednesday to contact their offices.