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28.02.2006 General News

MPs unhappy with public transport system


Accra, Feb 28, GNA - Members of Parliament on Tuesday expressed concerns over the inefficiencies associated with the public transport system, saying this was impacting negatively on productivity.

They said the frustrations of passengers having to wait for long hours for public transport and the lack of properly constructed terminals were ingredients that could hold back national development. The MPs, who were contributing to a statement in parliament on the road transport system, however praised the Metro Mass Transit (MMT) buses but urged them to improve upon their services.

Mr David Hennric Yeboah, NPP-Afigya-Sekere East, who made the statement, said an improvement in the road and public transport system could serve as a boost to the development of tourism because people would have a lot of confidence in the services being provided by the sector.

He touched on the inefficiencies associated with the late arrival of public vehicles to pick up tired and worn out passengers and said there was the need for better services. Mr Yeboah said drivers and bus conductors should also bring professionalism into their trade by identifying themselves through uniforms.

Mr Felix Owusu-Adjapong, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, said a loan agreement currently before a parliamentary committee if adopted would bring in more buses that are built for remote and difficult terrains.

He said these buses would be sent to the rural areas to cater for the rural population.

Dr Richard Anane, the Road Transport Minister, said government was committed to improving safety on the roads through the provision of good public transport system and infrastructure.

Mr Joe Hackman, NPP-Gomoa-West, said it was a dangerous practice for drivers serving the public to just pick and drop off passengers at all sorts of places since this could create room for accidents. He urged the MMT Company to develop a culture of maintaining the buses as a means of sustaining the public transport system. Mr Stephen Balado-Manu, NPP- Ahafo Ano South, said the public transport system was crucial to the development of the nation and said corrupt practices where some new parts of the MMT buses were removed replaced with old ones to enable the new part to be sold at exorbitant prices should be stopped.

He said such practices lead to these buses breaking down in no time thereby bringing additional cost to the companies. Mr Kojo Armah, CPP-Evalue Gwira, called for the creation of more terminals to enable buses to have room to off load and pick up passengers.

He also appealed to the State Transport Corporation to see to the provision of more comfortable terminals to avoid the situation where passengers on an early journey have to sleep on the floor while waiting for the buses.

Earlier, a four-member Swedish delegation from the Swedish parliament headed by Mr Joe Frans, a Ghanaian-born Swedish MP, paid a courtesy call on the Speaker, Mr Ebenezer Sekyi Hughes. The group will take part in workshop on conflict management to be organised by the Association of Western European Parliamentarians for Africa on March 03.