For Ghanaians and tourists who have followed the reverberating activities of Metro Mass Transit Company, ten years have registered invaluable services to Ghana. The ‘doubting thomases,’ especially the chronic critics are now getting closer to reality as the truth gets clearer and clearer, bringing unquantifiable progress to the fore.
That is ample testimony why Metro Mass staff can today be so proud for a decade of exemplary Corporate Social Responsibility to Ghanaians.
The bare truth is that MMT has for 10 years continued to support Government’s pro-poor policy without fanfare. But only a few Ghanaians have been bold enough to attest to that.
On the manifest are:
• Charging lower fares thus making transport fares comparatively affordable to the poor
• Influencing and stabilizing transport fares throughout the country in the midst of opposition from private operators
• Running on routes generally considered unattractive and unprofitable by private transport owners in terms of the state of road and patronage
• Implementing the Free Bus Ride for school children in uniform up to Junior High School Level at mandated stops and
• Engaging and training female drivers to exude confidence in passengers
It is a social mandate which MMT carries for the people, and not a competitive market where other operators would want to outdo Metro Mass. The Mission of MMT coincidentally is to provide and sustain an efficient mass transport system in Ghana through the use of available fleet of buses in an economic way.
The medium-to-long-term objective of MMT has been building a sustainably integrated multi-modal road transport system that would complement the efforts of the government in building an integrated, efficient, cost-effective and sustainable public transportation system responsive to the needs of society, supporting growth and poverty reduction, and capable of establishing and maintaining Ghana as a transportation hub of West Africa.
This integration is being built through a three-tier service (mix) namely intra-city, inter-urban and inter-city services which are described respectively as routes with distances less than 4okm, between 40km-140km, and above 140km. This mix enables the company move people across the length and breadth of the country and predictably the Sub-Region.
The mission thus provides the people with affordable, reliable and safe services are felt by many people in the country, the ‘doubting thomases’ clearly excluded.
As in the words of Mr. AntwiGyamfi, MMT’s immediate past Board Chairman, “an expanded public transport service helps to create a healthier nation by improving accessibility and in effect help to maintain environmentally quality life for the people”.
It is therefore commendable for MMT to experience a continuous expansion in its services, and consequently contribute significantly towards attaining expanded public transport services in Ghana. The end of the road is nowhere near despite the concussions of 2009. Thanks to the 50 pioneer staff who carried the staff from the onset, the past Board of Directors and those who have exited or been called home by Our Maker, and all other staff of MMT.
The MMT’s contribution towards expanding public transport service in Ghana in terms of distance travelled improved with the acquisition of additional 150 buses and consequently increased the distance travelled by approximately 5% from the 2011 figure of 60,235,628km to 63,511,182km in 2012. The score this time round is almost predictable.
A cursory look at MMT’s history depicts the following:
COMPARATIVE FACTS ABOUT MMT 2003 2013
Staff Population 58 4526
Depots 3 16 and 2 hubs
Routes Covered 33 420
Fleet size 197 1,048
Operational Buses (daily) 50 818
Districts covered – 155
Development of new hubs is on the drawing board. Towns like Aflao, Kasoa, Techiman, Tarkwa, Hohoe, Obuasi, Nsawam and Yendi are being considered for the near future.
Until 2010, very minimal external communication was organized in MMT as against an openly vibrant one which the media carry nowadays. That perhaps is the reason why MMT is in the news almost daily.
The doors are open now, but it is also clear that some writers enjoy bashing MMT to force it to come out regularly. Corporate importance of MMT has deepened now because unlike the past when very few buses operated, today, every region is enjoying Metro Mass’ services, and reporters across the regions continue to splash their columns and cover airtime with news on the company as more routes are being opened as the fleet increases. It is expected for instance that 130 new buses will be added to the fleet next year.
Passengers look forward to the provision of sustainable transit bus service around the country to make movement of people easier, comfortable and affordable. Kofi Senyah, a businessman at KeteKrachi speaks highly of Metro Mass for extending its services to the Volta North marketing centre.
Farmers are grateful for theMMT using the NDEWURA JAKPA PONTOON to carry MMT and other buses across the Volta River to facilitate movement. TogbeAklasi of Vume in the Volta Region recalls the water spill from the Volta Lake which denied the people in his community MMT services for two weeks in 2012. The daily feature of MMT buses is back and there is joy all over them.
School Children along the Bolgatanga- Wulugu route who spoke highly of Metro Mass for making buses available along the corridor, and which have enabled many of them and their colleagues make it in basic school. For them a day without seeing MMT buses along the route was a complete denial by the local authorities. MMT and the communities are virtually inseparable! To most of the residents in the Nsaworo- AkontombraDistrict , MMT buses are their only means of getting close to ‘civilization’ flowing from the oil found in the Western Region.
Volta South has a tall story to tell. Today, travelers along the Eastern corridor virtually recount the numerous times they had travelled on MMT buses. It is either for “Hogbetsotso” or a funeral at an adjoining village whose name may never appear in the map of Ghana.
The story along the Kintampo- Techiman-Sunyani-Kumasi for 10 years is no different. Perhaps, the only things that separate them are found in the nature of rough roads linking some of them up. Incidentally, these are very roads which Metro Mass buses traverse, bringing invaluable services to the same people.
For many Ghanaians, in the regional capitals,but for the Metro Mass buses, these cosmopolitans could be the end of the road for them. Of course, the state of the roads could conveniently pass for the best reason why some natives had not been seen in their “holy villages” for umpteen years. The situation today is anything but good. Ask operators of sprinters and the like why they have abandoned their own people.
Thanks for the services of Metro Mass to their home towns, most of the country is today covered to provide transportation for these can-never-go-back-home individuals. MMT’s 10-year story is strewn with very exhilarating tell-tales.
MMT under the theme: REDUCING OPERATIONAL COST AND IMPROVING CUSTOMER SATISFACTION the new Board/ Management organized a Mid-Year Review Meeting in Kumasi. This was followed by a diagnostic study of 10 of its 16 Depots and a System Audit geared towards making MMT’s profitability a benchmark in the next five years.
The determination now is to grow the company through team work which would ultimately benefit the staff in terms of improved skills, progressive emolument and responsive staff Welfare redress.
Among other issues MMT today is gradually building on its Customer Care by providing Customer Hotlines/ Desks at all depots reporting simultaneously to the Captain’s Brigade at the Head Office to monitor what customers and the general public say, and respond to inaccurate issues and provide prompt answers to queries.
Crisis Communication is available in MMT today, and on regular basis its Emergency Line (0302-942299) noticeable at the back of its fleet of buses is
invigorated, and ready for attention. As much as possible Operational Matters are contained with vim and speed. Gradually lethargy is becoming a thing of the past.
Together with the Internal Audit Department; PRISM handling Strategic Planning, Market Intelligence and Research; a Re-structured General Services Department managing assets and terminals in conjunction with Operations and Depots network receiving maintenance support from the Technical Outfits of Accra, Kumasi and Tamale, MMT is certainly looking ahead Sources close to MMT indicate that the new Management intends to develop new workshops for capacity sake.
One of the most disturbing security aspects in MMT is the recent incidence of armed robbers’ attacks on its buses en route during the night. The new Management is taking additional steps to eliminate it. Security measures are normally not publicized, and therefore, passengers are assured that everything is being done to nib it in the bud. The details are better withheld.
The incidence of ticket malpractices is also being controlled. That had also better be withheld for the sake of keeping a check on perpetrators who have also found measures to counteract the controls. Thank God, it will not be long when electronic ticketing and scales for luggage would be part of the controls in MMT.
Security at the Head Office and the 16 Depots is very much under surveillance. Adhering strictly to Road Safety Regulations has come to stay especially when the new dispensation is being championed by Ing. Noble John Appiah, immediate past CEO of the NRSC whose expertise is clearly showing on MMT’s 420 routes nation-wide.
A five-year Strategic Plan adopted by the new Management emphasizes Corporate Image Services, Improvement of Work Culture, Reduction in Operation Cost, Empowerment of Depots, Innovation, Training and Re-training of staff, Fleet Availability, aside terminals and bus cleanliness.
Unlike other transporters and donors who normally would prefer donating sums of money to the disadvantaged, Metro Mass does it through service to Ghanaians. In its task of bringing relief to travelers, MMT has continuously taken off some of the bills in terms of high fares besides availability of buses. High occupancy buses have always been available for the people. And if one wants to travel comfortably to one’s destination, clearly there can be no competitor which does it better. No wonder MMT is No.1 this year.
Whiles some transporters charge between GH¢25- GH¢30 for an Accra-Kumasi trip, MMT charges a paltry of GH¢12 for the same trip. Sorry if you make a mistake of calculating the sum total of these charges. Yet MMT is able to break even and make more profit by plying the same rough roads on which other competitors refuse to ply.
In 2012 when for five months all other operators were charging increased fares following the subsequent increases in cost of petroleum products, Metro Mass (in line with its social mandate and responsibility) maintained the same low fares to cushion passengers for the period.
It is predictable that very soon; the new Board and Management will work towards helping the company to overcome accidents which use to be a draw-back on MMT’s operations. Thank God those accidents have abated, and the staff (especially the over 2,000 drivers) are determined to
Overcome the incidence. These are drivers who have recently been given re-training and psychological update across the 16 depots of MMT.
The newness in MMT following the arrival of Ing. Noble John Appiah and his Deputy Ing. John AwukuDzuazah seems to be working the magic. This will compliment the expertise of OsabarimaAnsahSasraku III, Mamfehene and Chairman of the 9-member MMT Board. Astute Bankers and high-flying individuals like Joseph Okine-Afranie, Patrick Tei-Kwapong, Ellis Hugh-Tamakloe, Patrick A.K. Akorli, Yaw Asokwa-Nkansah, KarikariDarko, Ms. Sheila Sampson and Ing.
Noble John Appiahhas a mission to accomplish.
And with the usual promptings of Emmanuel Amoah, Company/ Board Secretary, for Metro Mass, the sky clearly is the limit now.
Metro Mass has come to stay. Perhaps that is why the visionary Ghanaians would like to advise that this national asset is not toyed with, but encouraged to grow to serve its social mandate to the people. Congratulations, Metro Mass Transit Ltd!!!
Issued: Wednesday 04 December, 2013
Metro Mass Transit Limited