#Article (Archive)

Effective public transportation

Dec 6, 2012, 9:06 AM

There is a need for an effective and efficient public transportation system that could help in easing the movement of people, as most of the time public transport buses are cheaper.

Since the good days of the Gambia Public Transport Corporation, GPTC, there has not been any effective public transportation service in this country.

However, the disbanded GPTC’s services are being missed by the general public, as the transport corporation provided easy movement within the country, at suitable times and at reasonable cost.

Many passengers, at the time of GPTC, considered the national bus service to be good and reliable, unlike today’s private transport services.

Thus, there is an absolute need for a better and well-organized public transport system to be re-introduced in this country.

The government, through the ministry of Infrastructure, should consider either reviving the GPTC or having a similar initiative to ease the movement of the population within the country.

In the country today, most of our roads have “Bus Stop” signs, but with only a few buses plying the highways, most of the bus stop signs are there for mere decoration.

Making life easy for citizens should be the preoccupation of the government, and one way to do so is by making public transportation efficient, effective and cheap for citizens.

In the past, the GPTC was operating a full transportation service within The Gambia, and it was never such a big problem for Gambians and non-Gambians resident in the country to move from place to place.

Today, travelling from the Kombos to Basse in the Upper River Region, for instance, is a nightmare, and is more difficult for someone than travelling abroad.

The commercial vehicles plying from Banjul to Basse spend six to ten hours on the road, making passengers suffer a long journey.

Some gele geles and vans will take people from Bundung garage only to stop with them in Soma, leaving passengers in distress to struggle for another vehicle to continue with them to Basse.

It must be noted that using these commercial vehicles is most of the time not comfortable, as they were not designed to provide a comfortable service to passengers.

In neighboring Senegal, for instance, people are still enjoying effective bus services, like in the developed world.

We must strive to also do more in this area, for the betterment of the quality of the life of our people.