By BENNY SANDEKA
Soon to go on the roads, the 10 40-seater buses will go around the capital city in circular routes at appointed times to provide a clean, safe and reliable public transport system for city residents 'especially women and children.'
The first route consisting of five buses will begin at the airport, through to Boroko, Badili, downtown Port Moresby, up the Poreporena Freeway, Gordons and back to the airport. Another lot of five buses will service the route from Gerehu through to Gordons, East Boroko, Malaoro, Port Moresby General Hospital, Hohola, Tokarara, Waigani and back to the University.
A minimum of two minutes is expected at every stop before the bus moves on to another route and a minimum of 10 minutes waiting time should be expected at every bus stop by the passengers.
The introduction of these new buses will help current PMV buses to service shorter routes thus reducing their operating costs as well as wear and tear of their vehicles.
Governor Powes Parkop and his team are still working out the costs of operating these buses without affecting the profitability of the normal buses in the city.
"For instance, if passengers pay normal bus fare within a route and want to make a connection, they can jump on any circular routes free of charge when they show a ticket," said Governor Powes Parkop.
"We are still trying to work out the details of how these buses are going to operate. But we know that public transport systems around the world hardly make profits. NCDC is considering significant subsidisation of these buses," said the governor.
The buses are expected to start early in the morning and work into the early hours of the night as part of the Capital City Governor's initiative "to reclaim the night from thugs and criminal elements".
Crowds at the bus stops cheered and clapped their hands when the buses were driven around the city at the launch. Other by-standers took pictures on their mobile phones and even some drove past with their cameras clicking.
This is the latest innovation from the "man with no money but millions of ideas," in making the nation's capital a better and safer place to live in.