The Impact of Ministry of Transport Policies on Public Transportation in Palestine

Discussion Committee: 
Prof. Sameer Abu Eisheh - Supervisor
Dr. Yahya Sarraj - External Examiner
Dr. Osama Abaza - Member
Dr. Khaled Al-Sahili - Member
Prof. Sameer A. Abu Eisheh
Amjad Zohdi Fathi Issa
The evaluation of the Ministry of Transport (MOT) policies regarding public transport sector and studying the impacts of these polices is an important issue. The public transport sector in the Palestinian Territories suffered in general from deregulation and the absent of enforcement on the ground in many aspects. The number of permits granted for shared taxis was more than enough. The public transport operators charged about 50% of fares identified by the MOT. The local bus companies did not apply the conditions of the exclusive rights they have. As a result, it was necessary to conduct a study that concerns with the evaluation of the impacts of these policies and to provide the proper tools and recommendations for the MOT to help them in regulating this vital sector. The main issues that were analyzed are: the current number of operating shared-taxis operating and the number of issued permits, the public transport fares equation and its components, and the exclusive rights awarded for bus companies and the related conditions. The study area was Nablus Governorate. Thirty three external sharedtaxis routes, which link Nablus city with the surrounding villages and towns were studied. The related data needed was calculated based on the MOT, Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), and field survey. The main results of this study were: 1. A mathematical single equation linear model for calculating the number of shared-taxis on a certain route based on demand. The statistical analysis of the model was run using LimDep version 7.0 software. The exogenous (independent variables) in the model were; private cars, distance, number of services establishments, and employment. 2. The large number of shared-taxis permits granted by the MOT was analyzed. The MOT justified that the large number of permits was due to the hard economic conditions during the second Intifadah and the increase of the unemployment rate. However, the study recommended that the number of permits resumed should be based on the real demand and need. 3. The public transport service applied by the local bus companies is also studied and analyzed in this research. The results show that this service is not satisfactory. In general, the bus operators did not apply the exclusive rights conditions, the fleet in general is old, the quality of service is partially satisfactory, no clear schedule and frequency, etc. It is recommended that the MOT should regulate and ensure that bus companies apply the conditions in the exclusive rights.Therefore, MOT should warn the violating companies and re-tender the exclusive rights of the violators for competition. 4. Finally, public transport fare is another issue, which is stated and analyzed in this study. In general, the MOT fare formula is considered good. However, the fuel prices, maintenance costs, driver wages, average monthly earnings, and the cost of [rice index, should be taken into account on the annual increase or while reviewing the public transport fares. The study output (recommendations) is not considered worthy unless the related official bodies adopt it and follow the international procedures in regulating and organizing this vital sector (the public transport sector).
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