TRACS: Congestion and gridlock in Lebanon on the rise, more roads are not the solution! Many projects and ideas are feasible, if there is a will!

TRACS NGO, a grouping of the representatives of key active associations in the transport sector, with support from academia and domain experts, met with H.E Prime Minister Saad Hariri in the presence of the Minister of Public Works and Transport Mr. Youssef Fenianos and the advisor of the Prime Minister for development affairs Mr. Fadi Fawaz to introduce their initiative. TRACS was represented by Ziad Abs, Marc Haddad, Zaher Massaad, Jawad Sbeity, Joe Daccache, Rachelle Gharios, Ziad Akl and Anthony Massaad.

TRACS aims to promote a sustainable transportation mindset in Lebanon, with the goal of improving all forms of mobility for commuters, while minimizing negative impacts on society and the environment. In this context, TRACS discussed the challenges facing the transport sector, namely the increasing demand for mobility and its impacts on commuters, the economy and the environment. TRACS also raised its concerns about the government’s current focus on infrastructure development at the expense of other complementary solutions, especially public transportation and alternative mobility means such as carpooling, biking and walking, urging the government to put the transportation sector at the top of its priorities.

TRACS had the opportunity to present their demands to Prime Minister Hariri, namely:

The development of a national transportation strategy which provides for a reliable public transportation system and the promotion of clean alternative transportation means

The revival of the ministry of planning or the creation of a ministry dedicated to transportation to give this sector a considerable significance, as well as the development of administrative mechanisms necessary for the proper management of the sector The reprioritization of the transport projects in CEDRE in order to put emphasis on public and sustainable transportation through equitable spending between infrastructure projects and public transport.

The creation of a central bureau for transport statistics as a primary step to develop the sector

The enactment of a law that guarantees citizen participation in transportation planning

The enforcement of traffic laws  The improvement of road safety  The expansion of Beirut Rafic Hariri International airport and Beirut port within the national transportation strategy’s priorities  The application of the law number 481 dated 12 December 2002 to create the regulatory authority for civil aviation.

The participants agreed on the necessity of following up the discussion about the possible solutions and holding a workshop in June to elaborate this matter in order to solve the Lebanese transport crisis.