Gambia: On New Urban Bus Transport System

Effective transport infrastructure is critical to the overall development of nations. And free movement of people is a key in that regard.

For far too long, commuters in urban Gambia have been yearning and continue to face endless hardships and exploitation at the hands of greedy and merciless private drivers on our roads.

These visible nightmares are visible especially when commuters are going or returning from work.

This long running worst experience has been exacerbated by the recent jump in the price of both fuel and diesel in the country.

In some instances, commuters are forced to pay fares even beyond expectations.

This has affected the government and institutions so dearly especially in the free movement of workers from point A to various workplaces and back. It has also hindered progress in the overall performance of staff in some institutions.

Recently, through a pre-finance facilitated by the QGroup Foundation to ease public transportation within the urban settlement, President Adama Barrow commissioned 38 vehicles worth over $2.7 million of which 33 are buses, four (4) pick-up trucks and one (1) heavy duty truck.

The launch of this ambitious transportation project of 33 buses, has been hailed across a wide spectrum.

The new fleet of 33 buses is exclusively for urban transport services, whilst the remaining five are for operational support to the Urban Transport Initiative Project.

The development cannot come at a better time, considering the recent hardships faced by commuters in urban Gambia.

Effective urban transportation is key in any nation's development. When the population is allowed to move freely and overall contributes to the development of that particular nation.

What is even daring is that the move is inline with The Gambia's National Development Plan (NDP), which recognises the important role public transport services contribute towards the efficient functioning of the national economy.

We therefore call on the government, GTSC, ministry and the stakeholders who will be manning this new fleet to ensure full utilization for the buses to last.

It is true that effective transportation is one of the key measures of sound macroeconomics growth. In order to encourage economic growth, governments and institutions need to invest in logistics infrastructure such as good road networks, roads, railways, airports etc.

Development is crucial and essential to the sustenance and growth of any nation. A country is classified as developed when it is able to provide qualitative life for its citizenry; also, the pride of any government is the attainment of higher value level of development in such a way that its citizens would derive natural attachment to governance. However, the development of transport in the overall activities of a nation is the ability to deliver an improved, efficient, effective, affordable, accessible, safe, reliable and an integrated transport system which will prosper the economic, social and political segments of the nation.

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