Stop parking in bus bays: Mwasalat chief

Energy Wednesday 14/June/2017 13:04 PM
By: Times News Service
Stop parking in bus bays: Mwasalat chief

Muscat: Motorists must stop parking in bus stops, Oman's national bus operator's CEO has said.
Speaking during the 'Masarat' forum, which looked at transport issues in Oman, Ahmed Al Balushi, Chief Executive Officer of Mwasalat, spoke at length about the culture of public transport in the country.
"We need basic infrastructure that is designed to develop our services in a way that satisfies everyone. For example, today there are some parking spaces for our buses that are not safe.
"Along with their commitment to deliver passengers to their stop, the bus drivers are surprised by the presence of private cars that park in the places allocated for the buses. This causes the bus to park a little farther away from its allocated stop, which leads to police offences.
"We are all equal in the eyes of the law, and we call on the police to monitor such behaviour, and everyone to abide by traffic safety regulations."
He also said that Mwasalat is trying to reduce the support taken from the government, "All public transport companies around the world are government-backed, though we seek to make efforts to reduce government support for Mwasalat."
Al Balushi said that although the company faced several challenges in its initial launch period, it's doing well now, “We faced many challenges at the inauguration of the new public transport identity in November 2015. Thank God, although we lack the culture of public transport in the Sultanate, we have achieved good indicators in the sector, where today, we transport about 12,000 passengers per day."
"At the start of the new identity launch, the percentage of Omanis using public transport did not exceed five per cent, and today it has reached 40 per cent, and we are hopeful that the percentage increases over time. There will be 400 jobs for citizens created this year at Mwasalat."
He added: "Mwasalat is supported by the Muscat Municipality, which is responsible for providing transport infrastructure in Muscat, and we hope for more facilities. There is a study to create private lanes for public transport vehicles, and I wish to see this project come to light."