On Monday, the Minister of Public Works and Transport, Ali Hamieh, inaugurated the arrival of the first batch of French-donated buses.
The 50 buses are meant to slowly ease the transportation problems in Lebanon as the public transportation sector is also affected by the inability of the authorities to provide the necessary funding to rehabilitate it.
The donation was welcomed by the Lebanese Minister of Public Works and Transport Minister who previously stated that “aid from friendly countries to Lebanon and its people is always welcome as long as it is unconditional and extends to all its sects and regions.”
However, these buses can’t cover all regions, as professionals in the field had earlier expressed. They had indicated that Lebanon needs thousands of buses in greater Beirut alone, let alone the other regions, notably to afford the public to commute from northern and southern Lebanon to the capital.
Joseph Bahout, the Director of Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, has also voiced some pertinent questions regarding the French buses: “Are they adapted to the city and its poor infrastructures? Are there enough local management procedures to optimize operation?”
It is certain that the issues with the transportation sector won’t end with the donated buses, considering the needed optimization of the operation, as Bahout indicated, and the ongoing fuel crisis, including the increasing prices of fuel.