Imagine one day in Kuwait, you leave your house and head to a nearby bus, subway, or railway station to get to work or enjoy a leisurely activity. Wouldn’t that be convenient? The very concept of public transportation is meant to solve one of the most difficult problems faced in the country, where traffic jams and gridlocks are a daily concern for commuters.
While some initiatives in Kuwait exist to encourage people to use public transportation, people are still reluctant to travel by this mode of transport for various reasons. Launched by a group of youngsters, the ‘Kuwait Commute’ initiative aims at encouraging people to use public buses to lessen the number of cars on the road and reduce traffic congestion.
Speaking to KUNA, initiative founder Jassem Al-Awadhi said that the main reason for ‘Kuwait Commute’ was to encourage people to use public transportation. Most nationals refrain from using public transportation due to it lacking basic means of comfort, Al-Awadhi said, adding that the Central Statistical Bureau’s (CSB) showed that only two percent of the population in Kuwait – nationals and expatriates included – use public transportation, which in turn represents less than 15 percent of the total means of transport in the country.
He added that bus stops generally lack basic features and safety requirements though most of them are positioned on major roads and highways.
Al-Awadhi pointed out that Kuwait Commute offers an alternative to private transport, and the initiative has managed to put on six trips to encourage the use of public transport. The initiative, so far, is being met with positive reactions especially from women who expressed an eagerness to use public transport more if services were further developed, Al-Awadhi affirmed. He also divulged that the government was interested in the initiative and officials expressed an interest to support it.
On her part, the initiative’s technical director Halah Al-Humoud stressed that the more people use public transport, the better the chance that Kuwait City could be turned to a modern metropolis free of traffic issues. Al-Humoud revealed that she has lived in New York City for seven years, using public transport as her main mode to commute. The presence of hellish gridlocks requires the extensive use of public transportation and the promotion of regulations that favor public commuting, she affirmed, and mentioned that the more people depend on busses, for example, the fewer cars will be present on the streets thus reducing traffic jams on the roads.