Radio show sparks heated debate on public transport

National, Normal

THE public transport system in Lae was the topic of a fiery debate between passengers and public motor vehicle (PMV) operators on 94.7 FM Morobe’s Common Ground programme on Sunday evening.
People called the station to air their grievances and defend their points and the debate got to a point where host, Pr Newman Watapi, reminded callers not to swear on air.
Passengers mainly spoke out against the PMV operators for their mischievous tactics like shortening their routes while collecting the full 70t bus fare.
However, several bus drivers managed to call in and defended themselves saying the deteriorating road conditions in Lae was the main reason they did not complete routes, because it was becoming very expensive to maintain and repair buses.
They also claimed that previously, when they completed the routes, not all passengers were paying the full fare.
Many callers agreed that both the PMV operators and passengers should change their attitudes and
pay the full fare and complete routes.
They suggested that operators should now collect fares before passengers boarded the bus, and in turn, complete their routes, be presentable in uniforms and identification cards.
Pr Watapi, in concluding the debate, invited the traffic registry, transport board and other relevant agencies, including leaders, to come on the show next weekend and clear the air.
He said failure by the authorities in effectively monitoring and implementing the laws resulted in the current state of affairs of the PMV industry in Lae.