Remove import duties on MMT spare parts (page 20)

The Head of Communications of Metro Mass Transit, Mr Eric Boadi-Misa, has called for the removal of import duties on spare parts the company brings into the country.

The move, he said, would ensure that the company reinvested more of the cash available to it into acquiring extra buses.

Currently, the company has 1048 buses but bad roads in the hinterlands, especially during the rainy season, meant a little over 800 being active most of the time. The remaining has to be on stand-by on maintenance schedule. The MMT operates on 423 routes nationwide.

Mr Boadi-Misa, who spoke to the Daily Graphic, said the company was taking a number of initiatives as part of a rebranding exercise.

Key among the initiatives include, the introduction of e-ticketing and the training of all drivers of the company.

“We are rebranding in terms of customer service. We want to give a better picture to the public. The electronic ticketing will help us plug revenue leakages.”

To be introduced in the first quarter of next year, the e-ticketing system, which will be rolled out in all terminals of the MMT, is also expected to curb ticket racketeering.

In February, this year, 14 employees of the Agona Swedru branch of the MMT were dismissed for alleged ticket fraud.

Incorporated in 2003, the core mandate of the company includes running on routes generally considered unattractive and unprofitable by private transport owners, in terms of the state of road and patronage.

The head of communications of the company, observed that the mandate came with challenges which included the bad nature of some of the roads in the rural areas.

Passengers Carried

Ever since the first MMT  bus took to the road in 2002, the company’s fleet had carried 2,055 passengers in 2002, (Oct.-December), 18,095 passengers in 2003, 15,950,101 passengers in 2004, 40,000,791 passengers in 2005, 52,959,160 passengers in 2006, 42,814,442 passengers in 2007 and as at March, 2008, MMT had carried 8,452,507 passengers.

In total, MMT has served 160,197,151 passengers nationwide since its operation in 2002 (as at 2008).

This means by 2008, averagely, Ghana’s 24 million population had used the MMT approximately seven times.

Perception of drivers

Perceptions of MMT drivers being indisciplined abound. But Mr Boadi-Misa said that the perception most of the time had been erroneous.

That notwithstanding, he said some 2000 drivers of the company were undergoing training to better respond to customer needs.

Currently, Metro Mass is the only public transport operator in the country with a deliberate policy to employ female drivers. Presently, 75 female drivers are behind the wheels of some of the company’s vehicles.

Indeed, these drivers have won the heart of many passengers including Ms Patience Kumordzie.

“They are very patient, extremely careful, and tolerant and respect us the passengers. I wish the company would employ more women,” she said. It is this recommendation that Mr Boadi-Misa said motivates the company, adding that the country would recruit more females as it increases its fleet.

By Seth J. Bokpe/Daily Graphic/Ghana


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