HCC holds meetings as it moves to take over public bus service


Honiara city council (HCC) is moving forward with its plan to take over the public bus service.

HCC has carried out two meetings since its announcement of this plan early this month.

Paul Inifiri, HCC senior legal officer, told Island Sun that two meetings have been held ‘purposely for HCC to proceed on with operating bus services in Honiara together with other stakeholders’.

“It is true that HCC will be operating bus services in Honiara, is true.

“An ad hoc committee has been established and is currently looking at this proposal.

“We HCC have engaged a private consultant who works with that ad hoc committee already I drafted a proposed bus route which goes in line with HCC regarding operating bus services in Honiara and on Thursday and Friday last week they met to look at this matter,” Inifiri said.

Island Sun understands that this plan stemmed from several issues:

1) the need to have an improved traffic during the Pacific Games later this year (short term).

2) the impossibility of achieving this with the current uncontrolled public bus service in Honiara.

3) continued refusal of bus owners and drivers to adhere to HCC calls and regulations to stop short bus routes

4) HCC’s obligation to ensure better public transport service (long term)

Mayor Eddie Siapu on January 19 this year had warned that HCC would consider taking this action.

“HCC is also looking at the viability of operating public bus services serving the main routes within Honiara City.

“If bus operators do not listen to HCC, we will venture into operating bus service in Honiara and cancel all public bus licences,” Mr Siapu said.

Siapu mentioned this when he appealed to bus owners/drivers a week before launching an operation across Honiara in partnership with RSIPF traffic police to crack down on short bus routes.

This operation however failed to stop short bus routes as public continued to complain that buses were still running these short routes, causing traffic jams and inconvenience for travelling public.

Early this month, City Clerk Justus Deni told media that HCC was looking into this plan seriously.

“HCC actually launched our programme to crack down on short bus routes.

“This programme worked for the first day but with some mentality issues and attitude problem that people have this programme did not serve its purpose.

“It was noticed that after first few days the issue of short bus route still stands.

“But going forward we are seriously looking at Council running bus services in partnership with some private sector, we have a committee working on that at the moment to develop our polices and ordinances,” Deni said.

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