Since the People’s Liberation Party (PLP) launched its landmark public service transportation program dubbed “Liberation Transportation Service” on April 28, 2021, Liberians, who bore the burden of high transportation costs moving from location to another across the country, sighed relief as the fares offered under the PLP transportation program is so cheap that it is forcing the Government-run National Transit Authority (NTA) buses to drastically cut down on transportation fares to compete with the Liberation Transport Service pricing. As The Analyst has gathered, the move by the PLP and its Political Leader Dr. Daniel E. Cassell is making public transport commuters smiling on their drive.
Launched April 28, 2021 under the aptly named “Liberation Transportation Service” (LTS), the PLP Political Leader recently commissioned ten 72-seated buses to ease the difficulties citizens are faced with in moving from one place to another in the wake of numerous economic constraints and extreme poverty.
Since the launch of the service, thousands of Liberians, who most often depend on public transportation to commute from one destination to another for trade, commerce, school, work or other socioeconomic activities, are benefiting immensely from the PLP public transport program.
According to our own investigation, what has happened is that the LTS has brought about a drastic reduction in transportation fares for passengers who board their green-colored buses that continue to ply major routes in and out of Monrovia, as compared to the fares which were charged by conductors on the NTA buses.
Following the LTS launch, the fares of some of the major destinations on the PLP’s Liberation Transportation Service now cost a commuter LD150 from Monrovia to Kakata; LD200 from Monrovia to Buchanan; LD250 from Monrovia to Gbarnga and LD350 from Monrovia to Ganta, Nimba County, among others; in complete contrast to fares charged on NTA buses which were very exorbitant.
Citizens have been commending the move made by the PLP to engage into ventures intended to alleviate the mountainous challenges and suffering on the already impoverished masses.
“We thank God for Dr. Cassell. It is because of him that some of us can go to Nimba every weekend to see our family members and friends just like we are travelling from Broad Street to Sinkor. We want other people to follow in his footsteps and forget about this plenty talking business, because plenty talking cannot solve problems or help to build this country,” Madam Annie Stubblefield stated while boarding one of the PLP buses.
She continued: “Even though I am from the CDC; but the good things we are seeing and hearing that this man (Dr. Cassell) is doing for the Liberian people, some of us will make a good decision in the interest of our children’s future before this year ends”.
Also speaking, a 49-year old man identified as Nagbe Harris, a resident of Kakata in Margibi County, disclosed that the launch of the PLP transportation service has immensely contributed to competition between the NTA and other commercial buses plying the routes from Monrovia to Kakata.
He observed that since the commencement of “round trips” by the Liberation Transport Service of the PLP, commuters “find themselves in a relaxed position because they can now decide which one of the buses to ride at their own choice”.
“Before the PLP buses came, we used to stand in long lines for hours; in fact some of the conductors and drivers used to even be bluffing us. But for now, there is a big competition; you bluff me, I get on the PLP bus. Many commercial taxes and other NGO vehicle drivers have reduced transportation fare from here to Monrovia because of this,” Harris added.
“Most of the time, the driver and conductor on the PLP bus can really help me. Anytime I am on the bus, they can say I shouldn’t pay because of my condition. So for me to ride free and be given preference over other people, I tell God thank you for them. I can save my transportation to do another thing for my family,” a physically challenged elderly woman getting onboard the bus in Red Light, Paynesville stated.
The cheap and affordable transportation service which was reportedly crippling the daily earnings of the NTA reportedly prompted the government to announce the reduction in transportation fares over the weekend.
The NTA is the public transportation company of the Government of Liberia responsible for providing access to affordable, convenient and reliable mass transit services to the people of Liberia.
In the statement issued, the NTA with immediate effect announced that its transportation fares for various destinations have been reduced.
The reduction include: from Monrovia to Ganta LD450 LD to 350; Gbarnga LD350 to LD250; Buchanan LD250.00 to LD200; Bo Waterside LD300 to LD 200; Harbel LD125 to LD100 and Kakata LD125.00 to LD 100.
Other reduced destinations include Monrovia to Zwedru from LD3500 to LD2500; Voinjama LD2500 to LD1500, among others.
But the People’s Liberation Party (PLP) is reportedly planning to take additional actions to compel the government to provide a free and compulsory transportation service to all Liberians as a result of the huge challenges the masses are faced with, according to the party’s Assistant Secretary General for Press and Public Affairs Stephen Vorkpor.
It can be recalled that the Political Leader of the PLP, Dr. Daniel E. Cassell, recently urged opposition Liberian politicians to desist from just loudly castigating the government and find solutions to the age-old mountainous problems confronting the country and its citizens.
According to him, the transportation service launched by his party is not intended for profiteering, but to also help provide job opportunities for citizens, particularly ordinary Liberians.
He pointed out that the initiative will ensure that citizens have access to affordable, cheap and accessible transportation service throughout the length and breadth of Liberia.