The lack of improved transportation system in some remote districts in the Northern Region has resulted in a situation where people intending to travel to Tamale use stones to represent them at Metro Mass Transit (MMT) terminals.wpid-mmtbus1.jpg

This practice, whiles helping them to secure their seats on the buses, also enables them to avoid standing in long queues for several hours at the terminals for the arrival of the buses.

However, some non travelers have cashed in on the situation by joining the queues to buy tickets to sell to stranded passengers at higher costs.

The Ghana News Agency (GNA) witnessed these situations when it undertook a tour of MMT Terminals at Chereponi, Zabzugu, and Wulensi to assess transportation challenges facing residents who live farthest from Tamale, the capital of the region.

The GNA had learnt that MMT buses are the only reliable means of transport for residents of those towns but the Management of MMT has allocated a bus to at least each of those towns. This, however, is insufficient, thus resulting in passengers out-numbering the available seats.

The buses depart for Tamale mostly around mid-night and passengers worry that that they (buses) often break down en route, thereby forcing their passengers to pass the night sometimes in the bush.

Madam Dambo Ibrahim Zuwura, an Orderly at the Chereponi Government Hospital, who spoke to GNA at the MMT Terminal at Chereponi, said the situation was so frustrating that workers, especially public sector employees, spent at least two days outside of their work, if they had to travel to the nearest town where banks were sited to collect their salaries.

Mr Kadiri Ahrmiyaw, a farmer, and social worker at Chereponi, also told GNA that ,?You cannot sleep if you intend to travel from Chereponi to Tamale because you have to stay in a long queue or place stones in the queue to represent you until between 2200 hours GMT to 2300 hours GMT when the bus would be ready to take off.?

Mr Abdul Rahman, a social worker at Wulensi in the Nanumba South District, told the GNA that: ?Sometimes when tickets have been sold, other passengers, who do not get the tickets, are asked to stand in the bus throughout the journey, even though they pay the same fares.?

Mr Rahman, therefore, appealed to the Government and the Management of MMT to increase the fleet of buses on the roads to districts that were farthest from Tamale to address the transportation challenges of the people, to amongst others, improve their economic activities.

In an interview with GNA, Mr Bawa Abdul Samed, Northern Regional Traffic Supervisor of MMT, admitted that the frustrations of the passengers were genuine and explained that the late departure of the buses was sometimes due to maintenance challenges.

Mr Samed said most of the MMT buses in the Region were old and had to be repaired after every trip, and the allocation of one bus to a town compounded the problem because of the time taken off to repair them.

He said Management of MMT was working to procure more buses for the Region to alleviate the plight of the travelling public.

GNA

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