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General News of Thursday, 21 April 2011

Source: GNA

STC urges Government to fulfill its promise on the acquisition of buses

Accra, April 21, GNA - The State Transport Corporation (STC) on Thursday reminded Government about a promise to import some buses and allocate 50 buses for the company to boost its operations. "Last year, the Government promised to acquire some buses from Brazil and allocate 50 to the company to boost its operations and replace worn out and broken down buses," Mr Samuel Ohene Nyarko, STC Station Manager at Tudu said.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Accra, on the patronage of the STC by travellers during festivities, Mr Nyarko noted that the company had lost most of its customers to private transport owners due to limited buses.

He said due to the large number and expensive nature of buses used by the STC, it was not possible for financial institutions to give them loans to purchase them except grants, which normally took longer time to pay, and urged the Government to guarantee such financial assistance.

Mr Nyarko said in the past, STC could allocate about five buses daily to passengers travelling to Hohoe and Kpando during festive seasons but the situation now had changed.

"But nowadays, we are able to allocate only two buses daily for passengers travelling to these towns. This had come about due to low patronage and inadequate buses," he added.

Mr Nyarko said most traders travelling to Tarkwa in the Western Region, had also abandoned the STC for private commercial buses due to the inability of their buses to carry most of their goods. He said during festive seasons like Christmas and Easter, two 50-capacity buses could be allocated to passengers travelling to Tarkwa, but for some time now, the situation had changed. "The last time I checked on those travelling to Tarkwa, we had only 38 passengers who had booked for our Marco Polo bus which had a capacity of 50," he said.

Mr Nyarko said the STC had also abandoned travelling to the Eastern Region due to low patronage and the unavailability of enough buses.

At the Tudu Central Lorry Park, Paa Joe, the Director of Operations, complained about the shortage of vehicles for travellers since Wednesday, because most of the people were travelling for the Easter.

He noted that most of the drivers found it difficult to get passengers back to Accra from their destinations. "And because the drivers do not want to come back without passengers, they delayed in returning to Accra. Therefore, in order to serve our customers, we have asked our drivers returning to Accra to turn their vehicle into to 93trotro" to pick passengers on their way to Accra in order not to waste fuel," he added.

Paa Joe said vehicles travelling to the Volta Region were mostly patronised by the passengers although they had vehicles for passengers travelling to the Western and Eastern Regions.

Madam Patience Sowah, a passenger travelling to Aflao, who had waited for over two hours for a vehicle, appealed to stakeholders in the transport industry to find a lasting solution to the perennial vehicular shortage during festive occasions.

At the Kinbu Gardens Lorry Station, the GNA observed a long queue of passengers waiting to travel to Hohoe and other destinations in the Volta Region, there were a lot of vehicles loading to Koforidua and other places in the Eastern Region.

Mr Jonas Tetteh, a passenger travelling to Hohoe, attributed the plight of passengers travelling to the Volta Region to the unwillingness of drivers, who had travelled to the Volta Region to return empty without passengers due to low patronage from those areas. 2

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