The Government of India has turned over 45 new buses to the National Transit Authority (NTA) to help boost public transport in Liberia. The buses, brought into the country recently to ease the transportation constraint faced by thousands of residents of Monrovia and its suburbs, were transferred from the Freeport of Monrovia to the NTA head office on December 17.
Since Liberia transitioned from war, the Indian Government has been instrumental in addressing the transportation need of the country by donating public transport buses.
Herbie McCauley, Managing Director of NTA, told reporters during the removal of the buses from the Freeport that the donation was a manifestation of the hard work of President George Weah.
“The President in 2018 negotiated with the Government of India to help Liberia’s transport sector. Today, we are celebrating because the buses are now being transferred from the port to our offices,” McCauley said.
“This is an important donation because the NTA has been faced with some problems for the last two years. Addressing transportation issue has been a challenge for us and these buses will now alleviate the problems we encountered, especially the suffering of the Liberian people,” he added.
He assured the donors that the NTA will make sure the buses are ready to commute people across the country.
“These buses will now be running in the 15 counties and it is in connection to the decentralization process launched by the President of Liberia. Again, Monrovia is not just Liberia. We will now have outstation in Gbarnga, Bong County for the first time and later move to the entire country to serve the people of Liberia.”
According to him, one of NTA’s short-term goals is to set up a technical control center where specially trained staff can monitor all activities on the buses in traffic, their destinations, passengers and attendants’ behavior.
He said the NTA’s team has initiated measures to help extend the buses’ lifespans and further called on Liberians to be patient, as President George M. Weah is expected to do more to change the current situation in the country.
McCauley recently in a recent statement put the total cost of the 45 buses at US$2,925,000, with each bus costing US$65,000.
He said the work of the transit authority is at the core of the realization of the government’s Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development because fares being charged on the entity buses are much lower than on other transport buses in the country.