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Driving and Public Transport

Jordan - Driving and Public Transport

For a relatively fast and inexpensive way of getting around Amman, Aqaba and other cities use yellow private taxis, which can be found in abundance in most areas. Yellow taxi drivers are obliged to use their meter, which starts at 0.150 JD.

A cheaper option is to make use of the servees or communal taxis. These are usually white Mercedes or Peugeot 504's which take preordained routes around Amman, they will stop and let you out anywhere along their route. Servees taxis post their destinations and route numbers, just like buses but the posts are usually written in Arabic. If you are unable to read Arabic, just hail a passing servee and shout out your destination, if that is on its route, it will pick you up. Servees fares run between 80 and 120 fils.

There are several different types of bus services in Jordan. The enormous blue and white buses belong to the JETT company and run on limited routes within the country. JETT buses connect Amman to Aqaba, the King Hussein Bridge, Petra and Hammamat Ma'een but it is necessary to book in advance. The JETT bus station is located on King Hussein Street approximately 500 metres from Abdali bus station.

Smaller towns are all connected by 20-seater minibuses. These leave when they are full and on some routes operate infrequently. The Dead Sea in particular is very difficult to get to without private transport, as there are no JETT or public buses in operation there.

Car rental in Jordan is quite expensive when compared with Europe and the U.S although all major international car rental companies operate in Amman. Rental cars have green number plates with yellow writing, while the white number plates belong to private cars. The amount of deposit required when you are booking cars can be very high, so find out before you book. Prices for medium-sized rental cars should be between 30-40JD per day. There are also mileage limits which vary between 100 and 200 kilometres per day, if you surpass the limit you will be charged extra.

For tourists an international driver's license is preferred however, a national driver's license is sufficient provided it has a photograph of the holder on it. Foreigners planning to live in Jordan long-term are required to obtain a Jordanian driver's license as well as local vehicle insurance.

Jordanians drive on the right-hand side of the road and road signs are in both Arabic and English. Roundabouts are common in cities and are potentially very dangerous. If you choose to drive in the desert, be sure to take a four-wheel drive with the appropriate tyres and an extra container of fuel, as well as extra water.

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