The Land Transport Regulatory Commission (LTRC) is planning to expand a project that provides public university students with 50 per cent discounts on their transport fees next year. Currently, students at the Jordan University of Science and Technology and the Hashemite University are given a 50 per cent discount on their transport costs between their homes and their universities, according to LTRC Spokesperson Ikhlas Yousef. In the first quarter of 2012, students at Al Hussein Bin Talal University, located in the southern governorate of Maan, will begin benefiting from the project, Yousef said. The government has allocated JD2.5 million to finance discounts for students at Al Hussein University, she told The Jordan Times on Wednesday. According to Yousef, the LTRC signs agreements with private bus companies to operate routes to public universities covered by the project. “We are planning to cover all public universities under the project… [which] aims at reducing the economic difficulties university students face,” she said, adding that the project will move next year to a smart card system. “Issuing smart cards will help us make sure that students benefit from the discount, not other individuals, as the support is meant for students,” she said yesterday. In addition, the LTRC is planning to install tracking devices in public transport vehicles next year to ensure that they stick to their designated routes. “The LTRC floated a tender to implement this project early in 2011 but only one company submitted a bid. We have re-floated the tender to execute the project in November and are currently receiving offers,” she said. “We want to install these tracking devices in public transport vehicles gradually in 2012,” she said. According to the LTRC, the project will cover 1,446 large, inter-city buses in its first stage in 2012. In later stages, the project will be expanded to cover the 4,204 mini-buses, 4,308 service taxis and 14,975 taxis on the Kingdom’s roads.