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People skeptical over ‘park and ride’ app to reduce traffic jams

By Faten Omar

KUWAIT: A proposal to use a new application where drivers can park their cars in designated areas and use buses to take them to their destination was sent on Sunday by member of Kuwait Municipality Aliya Al-Farsi. Kuwait Times spoke with citizens and residents to gauge their opinions.

Citizen Talal Al-Fadhli told Kuwait Times that this proposal is unrealistic. “We do not have a culture of public transportation in the country. Kuwaiti people in particular are financially well off and will choose their comfort and freedom in reaching their destinations by car. There are several ways to reduce traffic congestions. It is known that citizens of Gulf countries choose air-conditioned transport like taxis or private drivers while traveling. They can choose the train to see the beauty of nature, but the situation is different in Kuwait,” he said.

“To avoid traffic congestions, they should build new bridges between areas or over the sea. It is also possible to make the roads wider, and there are other more radical solutions to resolve the traffic crisis. As a Kuwaiti, I like to choose my comfort,” Fadhli added. “I think the age to issue driving licenses should be raised, as the age of 18 makes many parents buy cars for students, which causes traffic congestion. It is more appropriate to provide public transportation for students to reduce the number of cars on the roads,” Fadhli explained.

As for citizen Adnan Al-Enzi, the project will not offer good solutions to people, claiming the proposal is totally commercial. “The suggested services will only be in six areas, and they are all far from workplaces. I believe this proposal is commercialized as it mentions commercial spaces to be rented, mostly to restaurants and cafes to get the best benefits,” he said. Enzi believes the government should work on metros to make the proposal more realistic. “Metros will provide shade for people to wait for long hours away from the heat. Also, it is more efficient, as people can reach work faster.”

But resident Redha Razi found the idea as perfect. “The proposal will provide a suitable place to wait instead of a typical bus stop. I hope they provide suitable timing for buses to go to work. I agree because it will save time and effort of driving long distances back and forth,” he said. Razi told Kuwait Times the proposal is targeting Kuwaiti areas, hoping it will cover more areas, making residents invest their time in other activities instead of wasting time fighting with other drivers on the streets.

The proposal consists of multistorey parking lots and special parking spaces for high-quality buses where drivers can park their cars and take the bus to their destination. The project will improve the public transport system and road traffic and cut environmental pollution. The service will be provided in Khaldiya, Adailiya, Jabriya, South Sabahiya, West Abu Fatira, and Jahra, with the possibility of further expanding the service in the future. The request comes after increasing concerns over Kuwait’s rapid urban development, which puts pressure on institutions, resulting in increased traffic, increased accidents and an increase in air pollution.

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