... 700 new buses on the way
THE METRO Mass Transport (MMT), under the directorship of a Dutch management team is to revamp its operations and infrastructural facilities to ensure a dominant, reliable, efficient, safe and affordable public mass transport.
The restructuring of the company, which includes redesigning of the bus system to ensure a higher frequency of buses on the routes, increased number of shuttle buses and the introduction of advance tickets, is expected to enable MMT to offset a loss of ¢3.5 billion recorded in 2004.
MMT, currently owned by Ghana Government (45% shares) and other shareholders of SIC, NIB GOIL, ADB SSNIT and Prudential Bank (55%), started in 2003 as a private company, following the divestiture of Omnibus Services Authority (OSA).
Currently, MMT has 300 buses made up of Yaxing (150), DAF (74) and 77 Iveco buses donated by the Italian government as gift.
The company is to take delivery of a total of 70 new buses, including 250 Yaxing buses, 150 Tata buses, 250 DAF buses and 50 Iveco buses.
A hundred out of the expected 250 DAF buses are being brought in under ORET grant at a total cost of 14 million Euros, 65% of which is a loan, with the remaining 35% being a grant by the Dutch government, including support of the management team.
The Managing Director of MMT, Mr. Cas van Eerden disclosed at a press briefing in Kumasi that MMT would take delivery of the first 10 DAF buses in the first week of July this year and three every other week till the end of the year. According to him, delivery of 250 Yaxing buses starts this year.
He said the buses would be categorized as City buses, Intra City buses and shuttle buses to ensure a 15-30 minute frequency on the routes at all times to ease congestion on the streets.
He said fares would always be below that of trotros and taxis and assured that MMT would change the transport system with the reduction of traffic.
Managing Director. van Eerden further disclosed that the first scheduled buses would start operations in Accra in September this year and that the MMT would embark on a training programme for its drivers and conductors as well as mechanics to ensure efficiency in its operations.