Koforidua, Feb. 28, GNA - The New Juaben Municipal Assembly on Saturday took delivery of five Metro Mass Buses to the relief of the residents reeling under the exploitation of taxi drivers, since the increase in fuel prices a week ago. Their arrival on Saturday afternoon drew spontaneous applause from hundreds of residents, who lined up the major streets of the municipality as the busses drove along tooting horns.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency, an elated New Juaben Municipal Chief Executive, Nana Adjei Boateng, who had been crossing swords with taxi drivers in the bid to enforce the 30 per cent increased fares, said the buses were immediately scheduled to ply routes where some of the taxi drivers had insisted on charging 1,500 cedis a trip. The areas are Adweso, Old-Estate, Koforidua-Ada, Effiduase-Asokore and the SSNIT Flats at a flat fare of 500 cedis.
According to Nana Adjei Boateng, the delivery of the buses was in reaction to the impasse between taxi drivers in the municipality and the Assembly over the 30 per cent fare to ensure that the people had alternative affordable means of transportation in their daily activities. He noted that the taxi drivers were currently charging unapproved fare and expressed optimism that the number of buses would be increase to achieve its intended purpose.
Nana Adjei Boateng said since the Assembly was not fully prepared for the take-off of the mass transport service, the situation would be assessed and the necessary requirements such as parking spaces provided for the smooth running of the service. When the Eastern Regional Directorate of the GPRTU was contacted, the Industrial Relations Officer, Mr Salifu Alhasan welcomed the introduction of the busses said the service would provide passengers an alternative means of transportation. He said despite the fact that the fare of the buses was cheaper and would attract more people than the taxis, the mass bus service would open up an avenue for competition to ensure that directives were complied with.