Ideas on how Egypt could liberate its traffic congestion!

Cruising around with a private vehicle aimlessly in a country like Egypt should not be a personal decision, where citizens lose hours in commuting, which leads to increasing pollution and consuming significant amounts of partially subsidized fuel. The chronic problem of Egypt traffic congestion constitutes of drivers’ misbehavior accompanied with no real penalties; using a large car for a single purpose; consuming substantial fuel for errands that could be run online and many other aspects that need to be tackled.

The dissatisfaction of the Egyptian government that lies about being criticized without presenting alternatives policies is a false argument. There are plenty of good ideas to soften Egypt traffic congestion, but the government is not willing to address yet. The deficit of financial resources and drivers’ bad behaviors are fabricated claims by the government, in order to defend its defectiveness in this matter. In fact, applying the laws on violating drivers will bring sufficient income that the traffic police complain of lacking! Below ideas could be further explored by the government.

Commuting is a Corporate Responsibility

Commuting in Egypt should be moved from being an individual responsibility to a corporate one. Each entity should be responsible for transporting its executives and employees from home to work and vice versa by the most efficient method at their own expense. This should entail private, public or even civil society entities that are estimated to be running 24 million trips in Greater Cairo on any given working day.

Corporate commuting responsibilities should also entail hiring people, who live near their work places, transferring employees to branches closer to their residences, enabling people to work from home whenever possible, prompting car-pooling, i.e. grouping with other entities in this mission to reduce transportation cost. Entities that want to privilege few of their senior executives to commute by their private cars should purchase unsubsidized fuel for them, popped up with respective cost of pollution and carbon emissions.

Penalizing Violating Drivers Immediately and Incrementally

Over speeding drivers that the government always screen and penalize are not the riskiest factor in this mechanism, while the misbehaviors of many other drivers are the crucial factor that the government needs to tackle by creating a mechanism to notice their misbehaviors and penalize them immediately.

Violated drivers need to feel the pain of their traffic violation instantly with a clear notice of incremental penalties for further violations! Egypt is known for its corrupted backdoors that enable most of the outlawed drivers to skip paying traffic violations’ penalties; thus immediate payments in a time-frame of 24-hours is required and of high value.

Monitoring Heavy Vehicles and Group Transportation

Controlling heavy trucks and buses by issuing a law in which those vehicles ought to install a GPS and request permission for their routes in advance, instead of moving around roads at their convenient time. Driving off route will be penalized, while incentivizing vehicles that are able to arrange double routes trips. Traffic violations of private transportation drivers should be paid by their respective companies that would have interest in better disciplining their drivers.

Taxi drivers and similar private vehicles should not drive around hunting for passengers, the government needs to arrange for them special parking and waiting areas for the passengers, accompanied with reaching them online and by mobile phones.

Upgrading Traffic Police Capabilities

In order to operate the above, 2 separate traffic police units are needed. One unit should be responsible for designing and monitoring the new policies and regulations and the other should be responsible for enforcing such policies. Current police officers and staff should apply to occupy either positions after going through necessary training and getting a decent salary that will motivate them to take true significant responsibilities.

In conclusion, the above ideas could be fine-tuned and enhanced by traffic experts. People who often come with excuses for not being able to loosening up the current traffic conditions should not be involved. We might need to hire new team that believe the problem could be solved, who might succeed in some aspect and fail in another, but certainly better than those who don’t have a single solution for our chronic problem.

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