Transport in Lebanon
Transportation in Lebanon varies greatly in quality from the ultramodern Beirut International Airport to poor road conditions in many parts of the country. The Lebanese civil war between 1975 and 1990 and the 2006 Lebanon War with Israel severely damaged the country's infrastructure.
Lebanon has an extensive road network throughout the country, generally in good conditions, though it varies. The main roads in the country are:
- Beirut - Byblos - Tripoli - Aarida
- Beirut - Sidon - Sour - Naqoura
- Beirut - Bhamdoun Al Mhatta - Chtaura - Masnaa
- Chtaura - Zahle - Baalbek - Qaa
- Tripoli - Zgharta - Bcharre - Baalbek
Part of the main road network have been updated to dual carriageway, four-lane motorways, which are the following:
- Beirut - Tripoli. Length: 81 km.
- Beirut - Kfar Badde. Length: 65 km.
- Beirut - Sofar. Length: 26 km.
- Tripoli - Khane. Length: 20 km.
Beirut has frequent bus connections to other cities in Lebanon and major cities in Syria. The Lebanese Commuting Company, or LCC in short, is just one of a handful brands of public transportations all over Lebanon. On the other hand, the publicly owned buses are managed by le Office des Chemins de Fer et des Transports en Commun (OCFTC), or the "Railway and Public Transportation Authority" in English. Buses for northern destinations and Syria leave from Charles Helou Station.
Buses are popular and inexpensive and can be stopped anywhere along the way simply by hailing. Never take a bus without verifying the destination with the driver. The fair is for LBP1500 ($1). There are Public Buses (are not regular) and Private Buses (are in general better organized than Public buses).
Apart from the international airport, the Port of Beirut is another port of entry. As a final destination, anyone can also reach Lebanon by ferry from Cyprus or by road from Damascus. The Port of Tripoli (Lebanon) is also a port of entry.
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Since the debut Syrian Civil War lots of Lebanese trucks going to the GCC or coming from the GCC were stopped and stolen in Syria by rebels, the solution to this was to open ferry lines departing from the Port of Tripoli (Lebanon) to the Jeddah Islamic Port in Saudi Arabia.
Taxis and services
In order to get from one place to another, people can either use a service or taxis. A "service" is a lot cheaper than a "taxi" as the passenger would be sharing the cab in the first place unlike the latter, where he would have the cab to himself.
Cabs can be recognized by their red license plates (indicating that it is licensed for public transportation). The driver would pull aside for if the person hails while seeing him. He will then ask for his destination and then will decide whether he will drive the passenger with the regular fare, an extra, or not at all.
Types of taxis in Lebanon
One has to specify one's destination and enter the taxi only if one's destination corresponds to the itinerary of the Service-taxi. The driver stops to pick up additional passengers anywhere on the streets and drop them off generally in main squares and main streets. It remains advantageous with very low fares.
- LBP 2000 ($1.33) per person or LBP 4000 ($2.66) per person depending on how close/far the destination is. Prices within Beirut could vary depending on traffic and distance but overall should not exceed LBP 4000 per person (Maximum of LBP 5000 for Beirut outskirts). However, the driver could ask for more if the passenger intends to go to an area with high traffic like Hamra Street.
- Long Distance
- Traditional Taxis
The driver must not pick up additional passengers. Most of these taxis are not equipped with meters, so it is important to negotiate the fare before embarking. The regular taxi fare starts at LBP 10,000 ($6.66).
- On-call taxis
Pick up people who have pre-booked by phone. They don’t respond to hails in the street. They don’t have a meter so passengers should ask the operator the price when they are booking the taxi, and double check with the driver at the end of the journey. It is also possible to order an Uber car as the service is available in Beirut and does in fact use a meter.
The Lebanese rail system is not currently in use, with services having ceased due to the country's political difficulties.
The main national airport is the Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport and is located in the southern suburbs. The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness report ranked the country 51st in terms of air transport infrastructure.
Media related to Transport in Lebanon at Wikimedia Commons