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21.02.2006 Regional News

Metro bus service begins operation in Ho

By GNA
Metro bus service begins operation in Ho
FEB 21, 2006 REGIONAL NEWS

Ho, Feb. 21, GNA - Ten VDL buses were inaugurated in Ho on Tuesday to commence shuttle services within the municipality and its environs under the Metro Mass Transit Limited (MMTL).

Four of the buses would commute routes within Ho township at 1,000 cedis, while the rest would commute between Ho, Tsito, Abutia-Kloe, Sokode, Kpetoe-Ziope and Tanyigbe at fares ranging between 2,000 cedis and 5,000 cedis.

Dr Richard Winfred Anane, Minister of Road Transport, inaugurating the buses said, "People within the municipality will really experience an improved form of public transport in terms of safety, efficiency, affordability and comfort."

He said with operation of the buses in Ho, the citizenry could no longer be taken to ransom with changes in the prices of petroleum products.

Dr Anane said currently, MMTL operated in Accra, Tema Kumasi, Takoradi, Tamale, Koforidua, Sunyani, Cape Coast and Wa would follow Ho by the end of the month.

Mr Cass Van Eerden, Director of MMTL said the company had demonstrated the role of private and public partnership in national development.

He said while the government provided roads and other infrastructure the private sector provided the services. Mr Eerden said management of the company would not tolerate overloading of the buses as well as over speeding and called on the passengers to insist on their tickets to protect and assist the company to offer sustainable service.

He noted that MMTL was the fastest growing company in Ghana with an initial staff strength of 800 in 2004 it increased to 1,500 in 2005 and expected to reach 3,000 by the end of 2006. Mr Kofi Dzamesi, Volta Regional Minister warned the drivers to observe performance of the buses to enable them detect any malfunctioning early for redress.

He advised the conductors to be honest and accountable in their operations.

Mr Mawutor Goh, Ho Municipal Chief Executive called for the collective efforts of passengers and the community to sustain the service to cover other areas. Right Rev. Bishop Lodonu, Catholic Bishop of Ho Diocese dedicated the buses, which later went on a float through the principal streets of the municipality.

The MMTL commenced business in Accra in October 2002 on pilot basis and later transformed into a limited liability company in 2003. In addition to charging affordable fares, the buses convey pupils in the kindergarten, primary and Junior Secondary School (JSS) free.

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