By Claudia Tally in Port Moresby
The public’s cry for a safe, affordable and efficient public transport system in Papua New Guinea’s capital Port Moresby has been finally heard.
Following almost 10 years of planning and preparations, the National Capital District Commission’s Eda City Bus Service started operations today.
The service will pursue a modern city bus transport model operating in eight routes across the National Capital District, all of which are not currently serviced by the Public Motor Vehicle (PMV) minibus operators in the city.
Speaking at the inauguration event yesterday NCD Governor Powes Parkop said it had been a long time in planning and it was good to finally make it a reality.
“It is high time that we create a sustainable, reliable, safe and efficient public transportation system in our city and today we are creating a baseline that will set the pace for our city’s public transportation to be taken to new levels of efficiency, one that we can build on from and make it even better,” he said.
The bus service will be charging everybody K1 (NZ42c) from point A to point B and will be servicing routes following a set schedule.
Each schedule for each route is available at bus terminals where the public can easily access.
With the aim of achieving safe and efficient transportation, there will be safety, security and revenue officers on board each bus to ensure passengers are safe and adhere to set regulations.
The routes include:
- Route 1: Gerehu – Red Hills – Morata Swamp- 8 Mile junction – 9 Mile junction – Bomana Junction;
- Route 2: Gerehu – Ela Beach – Baruni – Badihagwa;
- Route 3: Ela Beach – Sir Hubert Murray Stadium – Poreporena Freeway – Gordons Courts Roundabout;
- Route 4: Gerehu- Sir William Skate Highway – Magani Crescent Road, Morata Junction – Wagani Tokarara Bustop- Tokarara Market – Koura way- Sir Hubert Murray Stadium; and
- Route 5: 9 Mile – Manu bus stop – 8 Mile – Erima – 7 Mile – Saraga Market – Dogura Junction – Tuna Bay Junction – Taurama Barracks – Vadavada
According to Acting City Manager Ravu Frank there are two phases to this transport system.
The first phase which begins today will be a cash system where people pay money and get tickets for the first six months and the second phase will begin after where the system will transit into a cashless operation using cards.
The Eda City Bus Service is not the first public transport system to be introduced in Port Moresby.
In the 1960s a similar initiative called Port Moresby Bus Company was operating under the then city authority and providing a service until it was liquidated in 1981.
City partnership offered PMV operators
Meanwhile, the NCDC has invited PMV operators in Port Moresby to partner in upgrading the standard of public transport in the city.
Governor Parkop called for expressions of interest stating that there was room for everyone to work together and benefit while providing this essential service to city residents.
“I want to announce that we have a specific offer for the PMV operators to be part of this service going forward,” he said.
“The details of this will be announced later but the essence of this offer in partnership is this: NCDC will set up a business limited called Eda City Bus Limited.
“Eda City Bus Limited will be initially owned by NCDC but we will diverse the shares, including making offers to the operators and the owners who are current or even inviting investors from overseas, especially those who have experience who knows how to deliver this type of service providing both service and sustainability and if we can make profit too that is a bonus.”
However, the bus operators must meet the following requirements in order to qualify for this partnership.
- Maintain and operate quality and neat buses;
- Complete routes and adhere to timetables;
- Make it safe for passengers on board;
- Support Eda City Bus Service branding; and
- Follow the terms of the ticketing system.
Claudia Tally is a PNG Post-Courier reporter. Republished with permission.