Mozambique: Transport company needs up to 150 new buses

5 February 2008

Maputo, Mozambique, 5 Feb – State public transport company Transported Públicos de Maputo (TPM) needs between 100 and 150 new buses in order to ensure coverage of the capital and the neighboring town of Matola, the company’s spokesman said Monday in Maputo.

The reality however, said Boaventura Lipangue, is that the company has only 40 buses in operation on any given day as, although it has 93 buses, most are at a standstill due to breakdowns or lack of spare parts.

“If TPM had more buses that would help the people that are currently obliged to spend a substantial part of their incomes on paying for tickets on private mini-buses,” he said.

As of Tuesday, the prices charged by the mini-buses will increase from 5 to 7.5 meticals (US$0.31) and from 7.5 to 10 meticals for longer distances.

TPM’s ticket prices are lower, at 5 and 10 meticals for short and long distances, respectively, but it is the mini-buses that provide regular and reliable public transport in the capital and its surrounding areas.

Speaking to Mozambican news agency AIM, Lipangue said that a survey carried out by the company concluded that there was need for between 100 and 150 new buses to provide coverage on existing routes.

“Everything now depends on the government,” Lipangue noted.

TPM used to post high losses as, from a daily revenue of 160,000 meticais, 90 percent was spent on fuel, leaving a small margin for salaries, maintenance, lubricants and spare parts.

The company’s situation began to improve with the introduction, in 2007, of buses fuelled by natural gas, the launch of new routes and improved management. (macauhub)