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‘Absent culture in our society’
KUWAIT CITY, Nov 24: The issue of mass transportation has come to the fore again as a strong and effective solution to the traffic jams and congestion seen on the streets of Kuwait, reports Al-Rai daily. The daily said the problem lies in the fact that it is an “absent culture in Kuwaiti society”, although studies and research proved that it contributed to solving the problems of traffic jams in the United States of America by 50 percent.
While opinions are unanimous that “mass public transport is one of the main means of reducing traffic congestion,” some attribute the absence of this culture to several reasons, including fear of losing privacy, and the desire for freedom of movement according to the destination one wants. The Vice-President of the Kuwait Society for Traffic Safety, retired Brigadier Bader Saleh Al-Hammadi, confirmed that “the experience of mass transportation contributed to solving the problem of traffic jams in many countries,” noting at the same time that “climatic conditions, high temperature and humidity have reduced the demand for this type of transportation inside Kuwait.”
Al Hammadi said, in a statement to the daily “this file concerns everyone who uses the street, and mass transportation can contribute to solving the traffic problem. But the problem lies in the fact that a large part of the people do not want to use this type of transport,” adding at the same time, “The summer period, which extends for more than five months, is interspersed with a period of intense heat, humidity and dust, and this makes people think about the issue of waiting at the bus stops, so we find that people, especially Kuwaitis, do not like mass transportation.”
He added, “We urge the use of mass transportation, but people like privacy in transportation, and officials urge the activation of the mass transportation system, but it is people who do not want that,” pointing out that “the use of the mass transportation system is a culture, and its absence in Kuwait may be due to the fact that the bus does not take the passengers to the specified destination, but rather to a place close to it.”
He continued, “In countries that use the mass transportation system, people are used to this from their early educational stages, so we find that they are faced with a simple cost method that saves them huge sums of money that are paid to own a private car,” noting that “the system of electric trains that are used in mass transportation” which are safe and fast, as well as underground transportation that connects remote areas and are very accurate in movement and access, which contributes to alleviating traffic jams.”