Maputo — A further 25 imported buses left the Port of Maputo on Wednesday, bringing to 77 the number of buses acquired over the last two month by the Mozambican Federation of Road Transport Associations, according to a report in Thursday's issue of the Maputo daily "Noticias".
This bus fleet is the result of a partnership between FEMATRO and the government's Transport Development Fund (FTC), and seeks to overcome the shortage of passenger transport in Maputo and the neighbouring city of Matola.
The buses, imported from India, can each hold 75 passengers. The first 20 arrived in February, followed by a further 32 a fortnight ago.
The chairperson of FEMATRO, Rogerio Manuel, said that everything is being done to ensure that private businesses have more buses, to increase the availability of transport on the streets of Maputo and Matola.
The greater availability of buses is leading FEMATRO to introduce new routes. One of these is from central Maputo to the outlying neighbourhood of Matola-Gare.
"We decided to open the Matola-Gare route in response to requests from citizens", said Manuel. "We know that the existing road is a dirt road in poor condition, but we think it is necessary to satisfy people's needs. We hope that the authorities will improve the access route".
Given the poor roads, residents of Matola-Gare wishing to reach Maputo, have tended to use the rail service. However, the rail cars make few journeys between Maputo and Matola, and are very crowded.