President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has dedicated an additional eight new mass transport public buses as part of the 150-Day Action Plan of the National Transit Authority (NTA).
According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf renewed her administration’s commitment to improving the livelihood of the Liberian people at a ceremony at the NTA’s Headquarters in Gardnersville.
As part of government’s program, measures have been put in place to begin a rigorous road reconstruction exercise during the coming dry season to allow NTA buses to travel far and wide in serving commuters. “I like to particularly praise the management of the NTA for the level of transformation taking place, which demonstrates the courage of the young people in lifting their country,” the Liberian leader said. There was lots of talk about the ability of the young management to run the NTA, but what she has seen proves her resolve to give young people the opportunity to serve too, President Sirleaf stated.
The President used the occasion to disclose plans by government to introduce a scheme where individuals with assigned government vehicles will be able to make gradual payments, leading to eventual ownership of said vehicles. She wants the NTA to begin talks with the General Services Agency (GSA) on whether the scheme can also apply to public buses.
Speaking earlier, NTA’s Managing Director, Karmo Vaye, thanked President Sirleaf for the opportunity given the management team to serve their country, noting that the procurement of the eight buses is based on the support given the NTA by government.
Mr. Vaye said that affordable public transportation services provided by the NTA is helping to reduce social and economic inequalities by enhancing mobility for residents, many of whom lack vehicles and need assistance in finding jobs outside their primary residential areas. “Our presence in Monrovia and other counties enhances movement of people to places of work, school, business, hospital and other walks of life,” he stressed, adding, “Mobility is crucial for development. It enhances growth, stimulates productivity, increases trade and consolidates development.”
The eight brand new Falcon buses are the first batch of the 12 mass carrier buses procured by the government to ease public transport. The remaining four buses, which are being specially built for rough roads, are expected in the country shortly.