“Au croisement Cola, le long de la corniche, à toute heure du jour et de la nuit, les bus à Beyrouth sont partout, charriant des effluves de goudron et de… jasmin le long de leurs routes aléatoires. Pourtant, une partie de la population semble fermer les yeux sur leur existence. Avec leurs plaques vermeilles pour la plupart fièrement illégales, leurs colliers de gardénias accrochés au rétroviseur, qui oscillent au gré des pirouettes des conducteurs, et leur application folklorique du code de la route. Au-delà du joyeux capharnaüm de leur organisation pour le moins pittoresque, des Beyrouthins ont décidé d’ouvrir les yeux sur la richesse cachée des transports publics de la ville : c’est la devise du collectif « Bus Map Project ».”
A big « merci beaucoup » to L’Orient-Le Jour for this gorgeous article!
The system is remarkably self-sustainable, even though it is almost entirely unregulated.
We loved sharing our bottom-up, incremental vision of infrastructural activism with The Daily Star!
What do you think? Are we “hiding behind our fingers” as one commenter claims?
“The mapping tool is just an opening for a needed change in activism. We need to advocate [for improvements in the sector] from the point of view of a bus rider.”
Thanks for the feature, al-Monitor!
“Using the numbered buses has taught me a lot about the culture, the people, the streets and life in Lebanon. I just wanted to commend you on this initiative and wish you all the best! Beirut is most definitely #BetterByBus ❤”
“Though it sounds trivial, one of the main reasons the middle-class has notoriously avoided using Lebanon’s bus system is simply a matter of labels and maps. Where does this one go? Where are the bus stops? [..] What’s admirable about Lebanon’s millennials is that they aren’t naive to expect too much from public bodies and tend to proactively find alternative solutions.”
Thanks for the feature, Bananapook! <3
It’s interesting to reflect on the pragmatism that motivates us at a time when there’s a real chance that the same can-do spirit might make public policy more welcoming of our generation. Our vote is with all of you hopeful people. Good luck to us all!
There’s been a lot of activity on a Twitter hashtag about the bus in Lebanon that we initiated the other day. We’ve noticed much sarcasm, but also, quite a few good insights and ideas — what do you think?
Title : 3a beirut – A film about the perception of a guy coming from the bekaa to beirut. He is waiting for the bus that will take him to his dream city, wondering if it will as expected…
Check out this clever portrait of unequal development and the importance of access to public transport in Lebanon.
Good morning, Beirut! It’s still pretty messy, but it’s getting there!
Here’s a sneak preview of our first, ten, mapped bus routes!
We tracked these using LiveTrekker and Gaia GPS, and dumped them raw onto Google Maps. The routes will need to be cleaned up and labelled (and there’s a lot more coming!) but it’s fun to see the system start to take (some) shape and make (more) sense.
Live outside of Beirut? Want to help us track more bus routes? Yalla!
We’re excited to share this documentary by our friend Nora Niasari, now available to view online! Production of this short film on Beirut’s public transport began in 2010. In 2011, “Beirut, Under the Bridge” was awarded ‘Best Director Documentary’ and ‘Special Jury Prize Documentary’ at the 11th Beirut International Film Festival, and was broadcast on CNN and MTV Lebanon.
We asked Nora to reflect on her project, nearly six years on: “For me, Beirut is a city of unspoken potential. In 2010, our film stirred up a mostly dormant debate about public transport, asking why the sector was effectively buried alive after the civil war. We learned many things, but today, transport workers and transport users alike are still asking, “Where are we headed?”
Read more about Nora’s experience here.