Public Works and Transport Minister Ghazi Aridi said Thursday his ministry would finalize a tender to buy 250 buses this week as part of a comprehensive plan aimed at improving Lebanon’s public transport sector.
Aridi spoke during a ceremony where he announced that 47 new public buses have entered service. Those include 27 buses that were renovated by the ministry and 15 new buses that were recently acquired. Aridi said five additional buses would join the fleet in the coming few days.
The minister said the buses would initially cover transportation lines in Tripoli, Sidon, north Metn and parts of Mount Lebanon.
He said the public bus service would cover most Lebanese areas after the 250 buses are procured later this year.
“The buses will be inside cities and towns in a bid to cover all Lebanese areas. This is an example of cooperation between the public and private sector ... there are big international companies that are seeking to participate in tenders,” Aridi said.
Asked if his ministry has plans to reactivate Lebanon’s extinct railway lines, Aridi said such plans were hard to implement due to years of corruption and negligence in the sector.
The rehabilitation of the sector “is very expensive ... [but] the revival of the sector is an essential need because it saves money and time for both passenger and merchandise transportation,” he said.