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General News Tue, 29 Oct 2002

Mass transport system takes off

The government's mass public transport system began on Monday with operators expressing the hope that it would be popular, following radio announcements and newspaper publications.

The Ghana Private Transport Union (GPRTU) also urged its members to co-operate with the new system. When the GNA toured parts of the city where the system is now operating, it saw three of the 17 buses donated by the Italian government plying the Circle-Dansoman, Circle-Accra and the Accra-La routes. One of the buses the GNA followed from Circle to Dansoman was less than a quarter full. The driver of the bus, said patronage was encouraging in the rush hour period when workers were in a hurry to either go to work or get home.

Government last year promised to acquire large occupancy buses to operate mass transport system in, especially the metropolitan areas. In pursuant of this objective, Neoplan Ghana assembled 27 out of 100 ordered by the government locally while the Italian government donated 17 buses. In an interview with the GNA, Mr. Kweku Agyemang-Manu, Deputy Minister of Roads and Transport, explained that the 17 buses would be used for intra-city purposes, while the 100 buses to be given to government in the numbers of 10 each month would ply inter-city and long urban distance journeys.

He said 16 of the 17 buses from Italy were to be on the road from Monday with one on standby but when the GNA visited the OSA yard where the system is being operated from, it saw more than eight buses.

The Deputy Minister said this could be attributed to operational difficulties or the fact that the managers of the system did not have the full complement of drivers. The OSA, in collaboration with a core group nominated by the government is currently running the intra-city mass transport system. The government is yet to finalise the decision on the name for the company to run the system.

Mr Agyemang-Manu said the current fare of 2,000 cedis was in line with the motive for establishing the service, which is to generate enough revenue to, at least break even.

On maintenance, the Deputy Minister said the technicians at the Ghana Technical Training College at OSA have had some training from an engineer who came with the buses. It is expected that with time, the technicians would go for more training outside the country when it is needed.
Mr Agyeman-Manu said the government plans to construct bus stops along the major roads in the city to enable passengers board and alight from the buses with ease and also to prevent traffic jams.
He added that government was looking at giving the ordinary worker and citizen a good service at affordable rates. "We also expect the public to make an input to enable government to improve the service through criticisms."
The GPRTU noted that the mass public transport system would be a challenge to other vehicle operators to improve upon their services to commuters. "Accordingly, vehicle operators, especially tro-tro and taxi drivers are being advised to exercise the greatest restraint during their rounds.
"Any driver proven to put impediment in the way of the operation of the mass transport system will have himself to blame."

The government's mass public transport system began on Monday with operators expressing the hope that it would be popular, following radio announcements and newspaper publications.

The Ghana Private Transport Union (GPRTU) also urged its members to co-operate with the new system. When the GNA toured parts of the city where the system is now operating, it saw three of the 17 buses donated by the Italian government plying the Circle-Dansoman, Circle-Accra and the Accra-La routes. One of the buses the GNA followed from Circle to Dansoman was less than a quarter full. The driver of the bus, said patronage was encouraging in the rush hour period when workers were in a hurry to either go to work or get home.

Government last year promised to acquire large occupancy buses to operate mass transport system in, especially the metropolitan areas. In pursuant of this objective, Neoplan Ghana assembled 27 out of 100 ordered by the government locally while the Italian government donated 17 buses. In an interview with the GNA, Mr. Kweku Agyemang-Manu, Deputy Minister of Roads and Transport, explained that the 17 buses would be used for intra-city purposes, while the 100 buses to be given to government in the numbers of 10 each month would ply inter-city and long urban distance journeys.

He said 16 of the 17 buses from Italy were to be on the road from Monday with one on standby but when the GNA visited the OSA yard where the system is being operated from, it saw more than eight buses.

The Deputy Minister said this could be attributed to operational difficulties or the fact that the managers of the system did not have the full complement of drivers. The OSA, in collaboration with a core group nominated by the government is currently running the intra-city mass transport system. The government is yet to finalise the decision on the name for the company to run the system.

Mr Agyemang-Manu said the current fare of 2,000 cedis was in line with the motive for establishing the service, which is to generate enough revenue to, at least break even.

On maintenance, the Deputy Minister said the technicians at the Ghana Technical Training College at OSA have had some training from an engineer who came with the buses. It is expected that with time, the technicians would go for more training outside the country when it is needed.
Mr Agyeman-Manu said the government plans to construct bus stops along the major roads in the city to enable passengers board and alight from the buses with ease and also to prevent traffic jams.
He added that government was looking at giving the ordinary worker and citizen a good service at affordable rates. "We also expect the public to make an input to enable government to improve the service through criticisms."
The GPRTU noted that the mass public transport system would be a challenge to other vehicle operators to improve upon their services to commuters. "Accordingly, vehicle operators, especially tro-tro and taxi drivers are being advised to exercise the greatest restraint during their rounds.
"Any driver proven to put impediment in the way of the operation of the mass transport system will have himself to blame."

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Source: GNA
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