Maputo — The Mozambican government on Tuesday announced the creation of the Maputo Metropolitan Transport Agency (AMT), which is intended to manage all the activities that form part of the master plan for transport in the Greater Maputo area, which covers the period between 2013 and 2035.
The AMT will cover Maputo and Matola cities and the adjacent districts of Boane and Marracuene. It may later be extended to cover other districts.
Speaking to reporters at the end of the weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers (Cabinet), Deputy Transport Minister Manuela Rebelo said the new Agency will manage contracts to lease out bus routes in the inter-municipal corridors, ensure the financial management of the transport system, inspect, assess and control transport services, undertake studies on fares, and guarantee the best use of resources for the benefit of citizens.
“The government remains deeply committed to creating better conditions of mobility for citizens”, she said, “and to this end the Transport Ministry, the municipalities, FEMATRO (Mozambican Road Transport Federation), and the Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM), among other stakeholders, have drafted a programme of structural, sustainable and lasting reforms for urban public transport”.
The model approved on Tuesday by the government, Rebelo continued, covers the restructuring of the Maputo and Matola municipal bus companies, the leasing out of the inter-municipal routes, a fare adjustment based on passenger-kilometres, the introduction of electronic ticketing, and a change in the mechanisms for granting transport subsidies.
A tender will be launched whereby operators will bid for the 300 new buses which the government is importing. The first of these buses will arrive later this month. The private operators whose bids are successful must pay for the buses, and this money will be used to fund the operations of the AMT.
Studies held, by internal and external consultants, and the transport master plan itself, she added, “advocate an integrated and coordinated system, and recommend the creation of a technical body responsible for coordinating, planning and implementing an integrated transport system in this area”.
Part of the planned new system is the integrated road and rail project, known as Metro-Bus, which should begin operations shortly, and is budgeted at over a million US dollars. 16 second hand railcars from New Zealand will provide a service from Matola and Boane to Maputo, and at Maputo Central rail station buses will take the disembarking passengers to their final destinations in the city.
The railcars are owned by the private Mozambican company Fleetrail, which will work in partnership with the public owned port and rail company, CFM, which owns the rail infrastructure.