Although prudent management may have sustained the operations of the Metro Mass Transit Limited since it was incorporated in 2003, the ugly side of the service Ghana’s flag post social transport company provides commuters has reared its head, especially in the Ashanti regional capital, Kumasi.
Ongoing investigations by The aL-hAJJ have unearthed massive rot in the operations of the otherwise shining example of a successful state run enterprise. It revealed for example how operators of the company in Kumasi have become law unto themselves and are charging exorbitant fares contrary to what has been sanctioned by managers of the company.
Metro Mass Transit commuters from Kumasi to any part of the three Northern regions would at best have to pay extra fares aside the one sanctioned by the company to benefit from the services of the state managed transport company.
While the official fare sanctioned by the national Head Office of the MMTL from Kumasi to Bolgatanga,according to a passenger is GH˘27.00 among others, operators of the MMTL service in the Ashanti regional capital have devised cunning ways of charging beyond that.
Some travelers who have had to endure this cut-throat price disclosed to The aL-hAJJ that managers of the MMTL in Kumasi take advantage of the desperation of commuters to create artificial shortages in the number of buses travelling from Kumasi to the North and at the end cash on it to perpetuate their illegal “business”.
Mr. Apaanadik Confidence, a Chief Assistant Security with M. Bardisotti & Sons Limited, narrated to this paper how his wife and two children were coerced and had to be compelled to pay GH˘35.00 each instead of GH˘27.00 before securing a ticket to board a metro mass bus to the North recently.
Ironically, while the ticket Mr Apaanadik’s wife was given bored GH˘27.00 as the sanctioned fare, he noted “they were told the bus travelling to the North was full but if she could pay GH˘35, they would get her another bus.”
He added that because the wife and children were desperate in traveling to the North, she paid the unauthorized fare and “to her surprise, she was made to travel in a metro mass that she was initially told was full.”
This illegal practice, according to Mr Apaanadik, has been the stock in trade of managers of MMTL in Kumasi, adding “this is creating inconveniences for people travelling from Kumasi to the North. There is hardship in the country so I think it is not right for these people to compound it by charging those unauthorized fares.”
Meanwhile, The aL-hAJJ investigations have shown that aside Kumasi to Bolgatanga, travelers from the Garden city to Tamale, Navrongo, Bawku, Sandema and other places in the North are made to pay higher fares that they ought to pay.
The Metro Mass Transit Limited is a public-private transport company established in October 2003 with the aim of providing an efficient urban mass transport system in Ghana.
Since its introduction, it has satisfied the transport needs of both urban and rural dwellers at reasonable fares, thus making it possible for many people to get to the market centres with their goods and services.
Despite this success story, the service has been bedeviled with challenges mainly relating to ticket racketeering and corruption. Early this year, the Managing Director of MMTL, Mr Noble Appiah, have had course to lament about the problem.
He announced that MMTL will roll out an electronic system of ticketing to eliminate human involvement in cash handling in a bid to curb corruption within the company.
“We want the public to know that it is criminal not to pay the right fares because we are losing money and this is affecting the growth of the organization,” the Managing Director of MMTL,” he stated.
However, despite these efforts to sustain the service, reports from Kumasi and other regional centers suggest that operators of the service there are only interested in what they get for themselves through dubious means without regards to the image of the company.
Source: The Al-hajj
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