The overloading of buses running the banner of the National Transit Authority (NTA) is raising concern among citizens, especially those who travel on the buses regularly.
Some of the citizens have alleged that each of the buses is carrying over 60 passengers, along with huge loads, something they described as dangerous and life-threatening.
“Most of the buses are old now and the overloading hampers their speed, which sometimes leaves to several breakdowns before reaching their destinations,” said Janet Moore, who usually travels on the bus.
“The buses also can be jammed with passengers, leaving no space for movement in the bus,” said another lady.
“We prefer traveling on the bus because the cost is less, but the management is using that means to get the bus overloaded, where you cannot easily stretch your legs,” frequent traveler James Beahn added.
When the Daily Observer visited the packing station on January 4, 2019, to ascertain the fact, one of the buses marked “ 5198” issued tickets for booking for 76 passengers, while additional passengers entered the bus.
There were two different tickets for payment, one in purple color and the other in blue, with two persons, including the cashiers issuing tickets at the same time.
There were several NTA staff members carrying on the dispatching of the buses. It is not clear whether all of this collection reaches the government or the management because the bureaucracy involved in the dispatching appeared confusing.
When the Daily Observer contacted the head of NTA team conducting the dispatching of Bus #5198, only identified as Issac refused to comment, but one of his co-workers (not named), said he was only in charge of the loading. He admitted that the purple ticket was issued to those who will get down in Gbarnga, while the blue ticket was issued to those who will be getting down in Ganta.
It can be recalled that early last year the NTA went bankrupt where the buses were grounded for several months, because of the shortage of fuel and other supplies.