The project will assess and recommend strategies to establish an efficient public bus system to ease mobility of thousands of Zarqa residents who commute daily to Amman city to work and study. Zarqa is Jordan’s second most densely populated and urbanized city and is home to over 50 percent of Jordan’s factories.
In September, a team of World Bank experts in urban transportation planning and energy efficiency visited Jordan to initiate the development of an energy efficient urban transport plan for Zarqa city. The team met several government and Zarqa municipality officials and they identified opportunities for developing an energy efficient mobility plan as well as mobility constraints facing Jordanians. They also drew an implementation action plan for the project.
“Jordan's growth stems largely from economic activities within Amman and Zarqa urban conurbation. It is therefore crucial that Jordan develops an energy efficient urban transportation plan to foster economic growth, ease mobility, and conserve energy,” said ESMAP’s Senior Energy Specialist Ranjan Bose. “Jordan also depends on imports to meet its energy needs, the introduction of energy efficient public bus systems will lower overall energy consumption and reduce emissions from motor vehicles,” Bose said.
The Government of Jordan reached an agreement with the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation(IFC) to construct a new Amman – Zarqa Light Railway Project. The light railway is likely to be implemented as a public-private partnership and involves the construction of a 28 kilometer dual rack railway between Amman city and Zarqa city. The municipality has allocated 29,000 sqm near the proposed railway station to accommodate the future needs for a feeder bus station/terminal that serves Zarqa districts and neighboring cities. The capacity of urban transport planning and alignment of the railway track inside the city borders will have a great impact on the success of the project.
ESMAP plans to implement the following activities over a nine-month period (September 2010 – June 2011) to improve traffic mobility and reduce energy use and vehicular emissions:
- Develop an energy efficient mobility plan for downtown area in Zarqa;
- Control and reduce energy consumption and reduce pollutant and greenhouse gases related to the transport of passengers and goods;
- Develop a plan for efficient and easy access to the proposed Amman - Zarqa light rail terminal using bus public transport; and
- Develop a realistic phased program of investment over the short and long term time horizon.
Zarqa’s energy efficient urban transport plan is being implemented alongside Jordan’s Regional Programmatic City Development Strategy funded by Cities Alliance.