NCDC to manage bus service

The National Capital District Commission will be running its own bus service soon.

The purpose-built 42-seater buses donated by the Chinese government for APEC will soon be on the capital city’s roads, following a commitment made by the APEC Authority last month.

“They’re as good as anything in Australia, or New Zealand or around the world, and we’ve already got drivers trained to drive those buses,” stated APEC Minister Justin Tkatchenko.

“We’ve got all the spare parts that came with the buses and we’ve got the mechanics that have also been trained to look after and maintain it as well.”

Tkatchenko said they are now finalising everything with NCDC and once the APEC Authority winds down on December 31st, the announcement will be made to ensure the buses are used properly and for the correct purpose.

Additionally, NCD Governor Powes Parkop said they are in negotiation with the transport department to take over the management of transport in the city.

“We have a draft MoU and I hope we can sign it soon,” he said. “Soon after that we will work towards an MoA.

“The MoA will cater for what happens to all the PMVs and though I don’t want to put them out of business, in reality, we shouldn’t hold on to the past.

“The PMVs have served the city well but for the future, it cannot work because their main purpose for doing business is to make profit whilst service has become secondary.”

Parkop said to make ends meet, PMV owners charge commuters full fees instead of subsidising them.

The Governor said though they have tried to come up with a subsidy scheme for the city’s PMVs, there were too many of them, making it a difficult task to gather them together.

“It was hard for us to subsidise them because it’s not just a matter of giving money but also providing service.

“So the way into the future as I see it is that, we might have a number of routes that are run by the big buses that I’m happy the Government is donating to us.

“There might be other routes that will be run by the PMVs.

“I want the PMV owners and operators to understand that we are not against them but we have to do it for the city.

“Efficient, reliable, affordable services – on time. Everybody goes to school on time, come back on time, safe and sound.”

Carmella Gware