NTA Envisages Sea, Air Transport
-After Land Transport Improves
The National Transit Authority (NTA), the government public transport entity envisages tapping into operating sea and air transport services in collaboration with the Liberia Maritime Authority and the Ministry of Transport once land transport services improve in the country.
Speaking at the Ministry of Information regular Thursday press briefing last week, the Managing Director of the National Transit Authority (NTA) Mr. Herbie Teecombla Macaulay said in his 150 days deliverables that new NTA busses are expected in the country to beef up their capacity to serve.According to Mr. Macauley, they plan to begin flight coastal boat services to Sinoe and Cape Mount Counties, adding that they are maintaining their terminals in good order and building new mini-bus stops at destinations in the country and that despite these developments their transport fares will remain cheap and affordable.
He used the occasion to rebuff media reports that the NTA is not abiding by the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission’s (PPCC) regulations, adding that no matter what people with good intentions will do, everyone will not appreciate it because they lack investigative journalism skills.
Earlier, Mr. Macauley lauded President George Manneh Weah for his preferment to serve as NTA managing director, adding that he is convinced that President Weah has a better vision for Liberia as can be seen in the pro-poor agenda for development which he enunciated for the improvement of the lives of poor Liberians.
“I have been thinking of how NTA x=can play a meaningful role in enhancing the transport sector of government’s pro-poor agenda; and how public transport can help reduce transport fares despite the high oil consumption costs and how to face the issue of unscrupulous transport owners and drivers who are always raising transport fares to exploit the masses,: he said.
He narrated that when they took over a little over six months ago, they inherited a malfunctioned NTA as there were only 29 or 31 buses, 11 of which were to be repaired, noting that they have been able to increase the number by 11 buses.
He added that as he is speaking they are still finding it difficult to repair and service the buses due to inflation of prices caused by the decline of the Liberian dollar on the exchange rate market.
“Despite that NTA still operates with a minimum of transport fares, as while commercial vehicles are charging between LD$ six hundred or LD$1,000 from Monrovia to Ganta, they have a minimum flat rate of LD$350 per person. When Liberians think about roads, they should also think about affordable transport services to Grand Gedeh for example” he said.
He said he believes that NTA has a vision and that there is a huge task ahead of them as a major component of government’s pro-poor agenda policy which is why the public relies on them for providing cheap and reliable transport services, adding that they will also look into the possibility of beginning a trans-border transport services to the Ivory Coast and Accra, Ghana.