Barely a little over three months after commissioning Banjul-Koundara express service, The Gambia Transport Service Company on Sunday launched another express services, this time, Banjul-Guinea Bissau.
In January, this year, the company launched its first international express service to Koundara in Guinea Conakry, with plans underway to expand the same service to other countries in the sub-region.
Speaking at the inauguration of Banjul-Bissau services, the company's managing director, Mr. Habib Drammeh revealed that another plans are afoot to extend the same services to Dakar, Senegal and Bamako, Mali.
"I like the service because of the demand of people going to Guinea Bissau. We realized that people make a lot of stops on the way because there is no direct bus service to Guinea Bissau, so that prompted us to look at the possibility of having direct service, uninterrupted, comfortable and safer than what they already have," he said.
He continued: "We want to expand our services to other countries in the region. Now we are not only going to Guinea Bissau but we are also plying to Koundara in Guinea Conakry and our next plan is Dakar, Senegal and Bamako, in Mali. These are the things motivating us to do this service".
According to him, this was a long distance and high value services and the buses were not like the normal bus services. "They are special and have special services on board. They are all fully air conditioned and have the in-journey entertainment and internet facility for the passengers onboard. So that in itself is a valued preposition that doesn't exist in our immediate sub-region," he added. According to Mr. Drammeh, they are pioneering a new way of traveling for ECOWAS citizens, which really was going to bring the company the required revenue that would help them to sustain the company in a long term basis.
Muhammad Manjang, the chairman of the GTSC board described GTSC express service as quite a significant service. As a corporation, he went on: "We are looking at expanding our services not only to meet the requirement of our clientele but also make the company sustainable in the long term and pay returns to our shareholders. It's a combination of all of those things, satisfying our clientele but also as a business to get into routes that will be profitable. It is not so much the number of services you do, it is the distances you run that worth drive efficiency and that is worth generate profitability and ensure sustainability of the corporation. We are quite excited launching this service," he said.
GTSC is a Gambian public transport system established to facilitate easy and timely movement of goods and people for the convenience of the public