March 2, 2017 By Elizabeth A. Kaine
Some pupils interviewed by Concord Times have commended the school bus service provided by the Sierra Leone Road Transport Corporation (SLRTC), thus thanking government for providing service.
Kadijatu Kamara of the Saint Joseph’s Secondary School commended government for providing bus services, saying: ‘’I am happy that school buses are here mainly for pupils. It is easy to access the buses in the morning and I want to thank the government for considering us.”
Another pupil from the Freetown Secondary School for Girls (F.S.S.G),MariamaJolloh, also noted that the school bus project wasone of the best projects that government has ever implemented, and that they were happy to pay Le1000 despite the increment in the prices of petroleum products.
The school bus programme is being implemented as a pilot project under the President Ebola Recovery Priority goals, albeit exclusively targeting schools in the Freetown.
Mohamed Jongo, a Senior personnel at the Sierra Leone Roads Transport Corporation and a Traffic Regulator, told Concord Times that out of the one hundred buses, some were allocated to school pupils and that they have been properly utilized as they were not used by individuals for their personal gains but rather to provide services to the nation.
“You know that transportation can never be enough but for the mere fact that the government can provide 70-85 percent for pupils and members of the public, that is quite remarkable,” he said.
Sierra Leone’s public transport system has been fraught with many challengesfor a long time. Its infrastructure – roads, vehicles, human resource, sales architecture and maintenance equipment, were completely devastated during the country’s 11 years war.
Even though the conflict ended about two decades ago, fixing the roads and bridges and putting worthy vehicles on them to serve the public was as capital intensive, thus organising the sector has been difficult.