'No entity entitled to monopolize this route'
Cross country bus drivers protest in Sulaymaniyah
SULAYMANIYAH – Drivers from the Baghdad Garage bus line in Sulaymaniyah have organized a protest to call for the reorganization of their routes and the safeguarding of their rights.
The drivers’ main grievance is the limitations enforced by operators of other city bus lines, which bar them from picking up or dropping off passengers away from the garage, leading to regular disputes.
Alan Hama Salah, a spokesperson for the Baghdad Garage bus line, explained to 964media, “The guidelines issued by the Ministry of Transportation are not in alignment with the law. Given that these buses serve public routes, they ought to have the freedom to stop for passengers along any public road.”
Jaza Abdulla, a long-serving driver on this line, recounted his experiences to 964media, saying, “In my 23 years of service, this is the first instance I have encountered such limitations on a public route, which have escalated to confrontations and assaults when attempting to pick up or let off passengers.”
Sadiq Mohammed, Sulaymaniyah’s Director of Transportation, clarified the situation to 964media: “The Baghdad Garage buses are permitted to operate from Tasluja Street to the Grand Mosque. As a public service, no entity is entitled to monopolize this route.”
He further advised that drivers from the Baghdad Garage line should report any incidents where they are hindered from picking up passengers to the Sulaymaniyah Directorate of Transportation. He assured that legal measures would be enforced against any line interfering with their operations.