By Aisha Tamba
President Adama Barrow yesterday commissioned 38 new vehicles of the Gambia Transport Service Corporation, GTSC, worth 2.7 million dollars.
The 38 vehicles, comprising 33 buses, one heavy-duty truck, and four pickup trucks were inaugurated at McCarthy Square in Banjul.
The project, according to GTSC, was pre-funded through a supplier credit arrangement with QGroup which won a competitive bid.
Speaking at the ceremony, President Barrow emphasized that the buses came at very good time considering the recent significant improvements to the road infrastructure network and the growing traffic congestion in the Greater Banjul Area.
“Despite the government’s achievements in this sector, the need to complement road infrastructure development with proper road transport operations is obvious. History teaches that, for any country to improve its transport services, public transport services, particularly in urban settings, must be efficient and responsibly managed. This Urban Transport Initiative illustrates the National Development Plan’s recognition of the important role public transport services contribute to the national economy,” the president said.
Barrow pledged that his government will steadfastly seek to improve the transport sector through all relevant stakeholders, especially the operatives within it.
Seedy B. Kanyi, the general manager of GTSC, said there is an overwhelming demand for public transport in urban areas and as such, they have been under pressure and in a hurry to catch up with the increasing demand for public transport.
Kanyi said with the right support from government and stakeholders, GTSC will be in a position to provide reliable, affordable, and safe transport services.
He added that the buses will ply 25 routes stretching from Banjul to diverse places in the urban area including Kartong, Giboro, Dimbaya and Barra-Amdalai.
Kanyi disclosed they aim to transport thousands of passengers covering a distance of 5,000 kilometers daily.
Muhammed Jah, the chief executive officer of QGroup, expressed appreciation to the GTSC for awarding them the contract to provide the buses, adding that QGroup is happy to pre-finance it.
The board chairman of GTSC said the company is trying to catch up with the demand for public service, adding that the board is committed to raising the bar high.