Bus plan in pipeline

National

By GYNNIE KERO
A LONG-TERM government plan to regulate the public transport system, especially in Port Moresby, may now be fast-tracked because of poor services provided by private operators.
Road Transport Authority CEO Nelson Terema told The National that the decision by bus drivers yesterday to withdraw their services caused chaos and a lot of inconvenience to the people who relied heavily on buses to go to work and school.
He said yesterday’s situation was a good example of what commuters had to go through when bus operators pulled out their services for one reason or another.
“Such strike action by bus operators is pushing us an extra step towards regulating the industry,” Terema said.
“Operators do not realise how lucky they are to be running these services individually, unlike in other countries.”
He urged the bus operators who went on strike yesterday, following an alleged assault of a bus driver in Port Moresby on Monday by police, to resume services today.
“PMV service is not about regionalism, wantokism. This is the city (compared to the rural area). Lives are at risk when people, especially women (are forced to) walk (along the road),” Terema said.
He did not give further details about the Government plan but said the welfare and safety of the public were important.
His comment supported a statement last year by National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop.
Parkop had told The National that the NCDC planned to control public transport services in the city. The plan started when William Duma was Transport Minister.
Parkop hopes that the plan can be brought to reality so that they can design a public transport system that is reliable, efficient and affordable.

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