Transport in Yemen

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{company, market, business}
{service, military, aircraft}
{line, north, south}
{city, large, area}
{system, computer, user}
{ship, engine, design}
{rate, high, increase}
{island, water, area}
{village, small, smallsup}

As a direct consequence of the country’s poverty, Yemen compares unfavorably with its Middle Eastern neighbors in terms of transportation infrastructure and communications network. Roads are generally poor, although several projects are planned to upgrade the system. There is no rail network, efforts to upgrade airport facilities have languished, and telephone and Internet usage and capabilities are limited. The Port of Aden has shown a promising recovery from a 2002 attack; container throughput increased significantly in 2004 and 2005. However, the expected imposition of higher insurance premiums for shippers in 2006 may result in reduced future throughput. The announcement in summer 2005 that the port’s main facility, Aden Container Terminal, would for the next 30 or more years be run by Dubai Ports International brings with it the prospect of future expansion.[1]



Relative to Yemen’s size, the road transportation system is very limited. Yemen has 71,300 kilometers of roads, only 6,200 kilometers of which are paved. In the north, roads connecting Sanaa, Taizz, and Al Hudaydah are good, as are intercity bus services. In the south, roads are generally poor and in need of repair, except for the Aden–Taizz road. In November 2005, the World Bank approved a US$40 million project to upgrade approximately 200 kilometers of intermediate rural roads and approximately 75 kilometers of village access roads as part of a larger effort to strengthen Yemen’s capability for rural road planning and engineering. Plans are underway to build an estimated US$1.6 billion highway linking Aden in the south and Amran in the north. The road will include more than 10 tunnels and halve the travel time between the southern seacoast and the northern border with Saudi Arabia.[1]

Travel by road in Yemen is often unsafe. Within cities, minivans and small buses ply somewhat regular routes, picking up and dropping off passengers with little notice or regard for other vehicles. Taxis and public transportation are widely available but the vehicles may lack safety standards and equipment. Despite the presence of traffic lights and traffic policemen, the US Embassy advises drivers to exercise extreme caution, especially at intersections. While traffic laws exist, they are often not enforced, and/or not adhered to by motorists. Drivers sometimes drive on the left side of the road, although right-hand driving is specified by Yemeni law. No laws mandate the use of seat belts or car seats for children. The maximum speed for private cars is 100 kilometers per hour (62.5 miles per hour), but speed limits are rarely enforced. A large number of under-age drivers are on the roads. Many vehicles are in poor repair and lack basic parts such as functional turn signals, headlights and taillights. Pedestrians, especially children, and animals on the roads constitute a hazard in both rural and urban areas. Beyond the main inter-city roads, which are usually paved and in fair condition, the rural roads in general require four-wheel-drive vehicles or vehicles with high clearance.[2]

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