In July of 2015, @farajchadi and I started something in Lebanon that we called @BusMapProject. We wanted to ask a simple question: “Do you know that there are buses in this country?”
For four years, we came up with new ways of asking that same question; making friends, building alliances, pushing forward, falling behind—but always, always supported by so many companions along the way.
We’ve finally managed to register our NGO in the National Gazette, after several attempts. This means that we can finally build a sustainable platform for our rider-led transit advocacy. We almost stopped believing that this would ever happen, but the timing was perfect; our official registration came three months after we formalized a partnership with Seattle’s Transit Riders Union to work on a joint-project that injects a dose of internationalism in the pro-transit movement.
Check out these two logos! They’re designed by @amychiniara and @stevie_for_reals in a beautifully uncoordinated-yet-convergent way—a true homage to the organic ordering that keeps Beirut and many cities in the Global South stitched together, despite the endemic state neglect of transit provision.
Someone once called us “dreamers” for saying that we’d map Lebanon’s informal bus system, and not in a good way. My friends, these two cities that I’ve come to call home are full of people just about crazy enough to dream.