Marthina K Mutanga
RESIDENTS of Windhoek are discouraged and concerned about the dilapidated condition of infrastructure at bus stops around the city.
Lydia Amutenya City of Windhoek Public Relations Officer said the bus shelters are old and might have been affected by harsh weather conditions over the years as well as vandalism.
“There are currently more than 150 000 passengers commuting in municipal busses on a monthly basis and the CoW is aware of the situation. The CoW will soon renovate the bus shelters. It is very important that the public also make it their responsibility to safeguard these public transport facilities the best way they can ,” said Amuyenya.
Amutenya could not disclose how much the renovation of the old bus stop shelters or the construction of new ones would cost.
She said that the City Council does have a plan in place to set up new bus shelters after previous reports that taxi drivers are unhappy with a lack of taxi ranks also use the bus stops as pick up points. This resulted in taxi drivers receiving traffic fines for their offences.
“We have a plan underway to assess and inspect all our bus stops in and around Windhoek. The exercise is aimed at evaluating the conditions and state of our bus stops, which include identifying bus shelters that are in a dilapidated state and which may require to be replaced or removed,” Amutenya said.
She further said that the city has developed guidelines to provide new designs for bus stops, including bus shelters that are safe, convenient and universally accessible for all users, depending on availability of resources.
“At the moment it is quite difficult to determine the cost estimate of the new bus shelters. When the assessment and the guideline document for bus stops and bus shelters is completed, it will give us a clearer picture of how many bus shelters are required and it will assist us in coming up with a well-informed cost estimate for bus shelters and bus stop signs,” she said.
Amutenya said that most of the bus shelters are believed to be outdated, unlike in other parts of the world where cities have excellent bus shelters.
According to Amutenya, the City introduced a public transport bus service which is a responsibility for every Government public transport as a social service to allow residents in every city or community to access basic services such as health, education and employment centres in an affordable manner. This will assist to alleviate poverty by giving access to the low-income people to access job markets.
The City’s aim is to provide a safe, reliable and affordable public transport bus service to all residents of Windhoek. Currently the city provides a service from all the suburbs of Katutura to the City Centre and surrounding areas on daily basis.