I REALISE that removing street vendors at the bus stops will help reduce petty crime, improve cleanliness, improve safe commuting, allow authorities to save resources, strengthen municipal budget and generate tourism spending.
Despite the wider benefits of removing street vendors at bus stops and bus stop sheds, it’s annoying to note that wherever there is a bus stop in Port Moresby, there are street vendors selling their items.
This practice has been ongoing for a long time and it’s contributing to a lot of problems.
Street vending at bus stops is inappropriate because vendors unnecessarily occupy spaces for commuters to sit down and wait for transport.
Bus stops and bus stop sheds are designed and built to ensure that commuters are able to comfortably wait for and catch transport under all weather conditions.
The street vendors are using the bus stop sheds and concrete pavements to do their sales.
As a result, commuters are often forced to stand in the weather and even at the back of the sheds, making commuting in the city a bit hassle and tussle.
Bus stops and bus stop sheds are meant for commuters to use when waiting for the next transport.
Street vending at the bus stops and bus stop sheds only promote unhygienic practices including chewing betel nuts, eating food without washing hands, eating unhealthy food and engaging in unhygienic practices.
Street vending at the bus stops and bus stop sheds in the city generates a lot of rubbish and stains.
The rubbish, including betel nut husks and spittle and food wrappers are dropped near the bus stops and bus stop sheds by vendors and the public alike. The National Capital District Commission spends a lot of money on removing rubbish and stains around the city every year.
The portion of money being spent on removal of rubbish is supposed to be channelled to the provision of important services including health, education, law and order and infrastructure spending in the city.
However, the attitude of the people, especially by vending at the bus stops and bus stop sheds in the city continue to handicap the ability of the commission to provide public goods and services for the public to use and enjoy.
Street vending at the bus stops and bus stop sheds in the city contribute to the increase in petty crimes including bag and phone snatching, pickpocketing and also the harassment of women. The National Capital District Commission promotes the safe city programme, but it’s not doing enough to address the real cause of the issue.
Thugs often like viruses, move from one person to the next and prey on unsuspecting individuals and commuters in the city.
Crowded bus stops and bus stop sheds in the city are the main breeding grounds and havens for street thugs.
As dangerous as they are, thugs have also wounded and killed people in the city, making commuting ever unsafe.
I think the commission isn’t doing enough to address the above problems though it has identified hotspot areas and is emphasising the safe city programme.
Hence, it should use its physical planning powers to remove street vendors at the bus stops to help make the city clean, safe and friendly.
This will also help generate budget savings and strengthen the National Capital District Commission’s accounts.
Moreover, it will help improve Port Moresby’s ranking to be liveable city and create more avenues for tourism to thrive.