Sign In / Up

Add contribution as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Comment as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Login

Not a member Register   Forgot Password
or connect using
 

Email

 

Rudaw

Kurdistan

Dutch Funding to Get Sulaimani Bus Project on the Road

By Judit Neurink 24/9/2014
Sulaimani city
Sulaimani city
SULAIMANI, Iraqi Kurdistan — Within six months a major bus line will be connecting the outskirts of Iraqi Kurdistan’s second city, Sulaimani, and its old center, with the Netherlands funding just over $1 million for the project.

“Every eight minutes a bus will leave between the town of Tazluja, on the main road from the Kurdistan capital of Erbil into Sulaimani, and the Palace Hotel in the center of town,” said Rene Fijen, a Dutch entrepreneur whose previous contributions to Kurdistan include speed bumps and “cat’s eye” road reflectors.

Two years ago he started discussing bus lines to help Kurdish cities fight growing traffic congestion. 

But plans for a “Citibus” project and a “Kurdibus,” to connect the main Kurdish cities, had to be shelved after the Iraqi government froze budget payments to Erbil in January, and due to Kurdistan’s war with the Islamic State (IS).

Now, the project is ready to hit the road, after Fijen secured funding from the Private Sector Investment Program of the Ministry of Economic Affairs in the Netherlands. 

“The Dutch Ministry has chosen Iraq as a priority country for Dutch businesses, and this project will help local people,” Fijen said about the aid.

The funding, together with investment offered by two local Kurdish companies, is enough to start up the first stage, in which 12 Dutch-made buses will run on the first line, connecting the outskirts and the airport with Sulaimani’s city center.

Aref Aziz, operation manager at Wharco, one of the companies investing in the project, said that public transportation has become a priority for the government in Erbil, the Kurdistan Region’s capital.

“After the unrest that was created by the shortage of petrol earlier this summer, the prime minister’s office in Erbil told me that they now consider creating public transport a priority for 2015. They concluded that people would have been less angry then, if they would have had the choice of public transport.” 

Local and provincial governments in Sulaimani have also declared the project to be a priority. They will have to provide the new infrastructure, with special road lanes and bus stops.

The Dutch funding will mainly go to building a bus depot, buying the buses and offering training for project personnel. The Dutch company GVB, which runs public transportation in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam, will be involved in providing buses and training.

Fijen pointed out that the Sulaimani bus line will work with existing infrastructure, including overhead pedestrian bridges that will be connected to the new stops.

For “Kurdibus,” a long distance line of 16 buses connecting Sulaimani, Erbil and Duhok, the main depot will be located in the capital.

The total budget for the project amounts to $50 million dollars, Aziz said. The local government in Sulaimani is responsible for providing land for the depot, staff and the bus routes.

Fijen stressed that the buses will not destroy the taxi trade, on which many people depend for added income to augment meager salaries. “Drivers of taxis and minibuses will be trained to work as bus drivers, and we will include them in the process from the beginning. In total the bus lines will generate up to 450 jobs,” he said.

Also, taxis and minibuses will still be needed to take people to and from the main bus stops. To decrease traffic, a number of “Park and Ride” sites will be included for people to leave their cars and take the bus.

Comments

 
Data pager
Previous
123
Page size:
PageSizeComboBox
select
peshmerga_zerevani | 24/9/2014
BIG BIG NEWS!! FINALLY!!! BIJI KURDISTAN:)
Karel v G. | 24/9/2014
This is awesome! heading in the right direction! Go Kurdistan, I'm glad my country is contributing to your development :)
Isis = true moslem pigs. | 24/9/2014
Good, someone will steal 90%of that million $ smh.
Flaminco | 24/9/2014
@peshmerga_taramashi what kind of troll are you? toorkish? poorisan? give your trolling a break, or maybe you think your smart? trolling every single article on Rudaw under different nicknames, always spewing out caps lock drivel.
Jesus | 24/9/2014
Wasn't it that guy that was making fun of Kurdish people for selling them those speed bumps, that were of no use for Kurdistan ? Again he is making money due to illiterate administrators.
6502 Views

Be Part of Your Rudaw!

Share your stories, photos and videos with Rudaw, and quite possibly the world.

What You Say

Hama | 12/15/2018 6:59:18 PM
They can go to hell. Be reasonable or don't talk. Suggesting ‘in-between’ status for disputed territories is not a legal or reasonable long term...
Realist | 12/16/2018 4:48:34 AM
I don’t understand why you waste your time . Let’s we here . I bet you if Kirkuk didn’t have oil it wouldn’t be the ‘heart’ of Kurdistan . Bunch of...
UN should revive ‘stillborn’ mediation on Kirkuk, disputed territories: ICG
| yesterday at 09:01 | (2)
Renas | 12/15/2018 8:41:41 PM
Depends on, no-fly zone for all, or is THE enemy allowed to bomd there? A no-fly zone should forbid all ountries to fly there, that would have a...
Guest | 12/15/2018 9:26:48 PM
I disagree. A no fly zone is exactly that, a zone that prohibits certain aircraft from flying in that zone. In Iraq, its purpose was to prevent Iraqi...
How feasible is a no-fly zone for Rojava?
| yesterday at 06:16 | (5)
Guest | 12/15/2018 9:06:23 PM
It is unfortunate, but I believe Turkey will continue to be emboldened to attack the sovereign territory of its neighbors unless it suffers a...
Turkey FM vows to continue strikes in Iraq if PKK isn't removed
| yesterday at 02:45 | (1)
pre-Boomer Marine brat | 12/15/2018 6:38:20 PM
Zimmerman's "political disenfranchisement and grievances" are superficialities. She gets them from using pseudo-academic "social movement theory" to...
Guest | 12/15/2018 9:01:40 PM
Katherine Zimmerman is wrong if she says the current strategy is failing. I did not read her article mentioned here but from the quote she gave, it...
War on jihadists won’t end unless West tackles root causes: experts
| yesterday at 07:19 | (3)

Elsewhere on Rudaw

Russian mothers of ISIS runaways form support group 7 hours ago |

Russian mothers of ISIS runaways form support group

1,800 Russian women and children are thoughts to more
Turkey-backed Syrian forces train in Aleppo as Ankara threatens new offensive 9 hours ago |

Turkey-backed Syrian forces train in Aleppo as Ankara threatens new offensive

Ankara's Syrian proxies participated in the Afrin more
UPDATE: SDF rejects Peshmerga offer to bolster Syria-Turkey border: monitor 10 hours ago |

UPDATE: SDF rejects Peshmerga offer to bolster Syria-Turkey border: monitor

It comes days after Turkey threatened to attack more
0.234 seconds