What if Charles Helou Bus Station was a parking and we had ferries as modes of transportation?

October 11, 2016

What if: Charles Helou Bus Station’ empty space was a big parking spot and we had ferries for people and cars in Lebanon?

I am not an expert in the field but two topics have been toying in my head for a while.

Since my employment move in Gemmayze we have been struggling quite a lot with parking and traffic. And here lays right next to us the immense Charles Helou Bus Station (Gare Routiere Charles Helou). It is located on the northern side of Downtown Beirut, along the harbour – right under the major highway running to the North. Sadly, it is a deserted place, unused, closed with a few information booths open and ticket booth for the buses. There isn’t even a huge number of buses. Connexion has regular departures to Tripoli from here. It’s sadly desolate looking and forming a huge contrast with the modern highrises and even the traditional streets that bustle with life next to it and the Beirut Harbour itself.

A few years back, I freelanced for a while in Downtown and there was the availability of the parking next to Biel with at your disposal (you just pay your parking fee) with free shuttle buses that drive around Downtown and drop you to your office and back (depending at what time you finish your shift) to your car when you are done with your day.

It would be great if we can have that in Gemmayze / Achrafieh and in all the potential high traffic places. It would save people the stress of finding a parking spot or if their works provides then wonderful but if it’s not the case the parking facility and shuttle buses can do wonders. And let’s face it, with the daily stress we unfortunately fight with, this removed can be quite helpful and soothing to start the morning properly at work, don’t you think?

Whom can we talk to to propose this idea and implement it all over the country? I remember this was a topic placed on the table a few years back.
Beirut is not the only area that has a large traffic amount. The high traffic areas can be selected and this project implemented all over. We can lessen the traffic and be a bit happier, mech ghalat.

Separately, another idea popped in my mind as I went for a dive last Saturday. I remembered, during my trips to Canada, we took the ferry boats many times. Some of them were designed only to transport people and others that can transport people and cars. What if we could propose such a plan for the government? How and what are the steps? Let’s say we live in Tripoli, Jbeil or Saida and our work is in Beirut and (yaret) we had the option of bus, connexion and ferries (if we had cars or not). It can also go vice versa, with shifts and times. Of course if there are storms, this can be paused during these periods but we are a fairly sunny country so they can be used for a good time in the year…

Not only stress relieving but also we can enjoy seeing our beautiful coast from the side of the sea. It’s quite enchanting actually.

Whom can we address this? Mechanical engineers? Transport Specialists and Engineers? Honestly I am putting it out there and would love your input to see whom we can talk to, the specialists to prepare the plans and whom to go to for presenting the propositions in prayers and hopes for go-aheads. If we all want Lebanon to thrive, these few ideas can help tremendously.

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