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The Metrobus road and rail passenger transport scheme, which starts operating in the Greater Maputo Metropolitan Area as from December, will cost users 3,500 meticais (about 57 US dollars) a month, according to Amade Camal, general manager of Fleetrail, the private company running the scheme.
Cited in Thursday’s issue of the Maputo daily “Noticias”, Camal said tickets will not be sold on the buses or trains. Access will be through a combined road and rail pass, which can be recharged for a day, a week or a month.
3,500 meticais a month means that most people living in Maputo or Matola cannot possibly afford to travel by Metrobus. The minimum wage in the public administration, for example, is 3,996 meticais a month.
Camal said the project is intended, not for the poor but for the middle class. He hoped that thousands of people who currently use their private cars to travel between Maputo and Matola can be persuaded to switch to Metrobus.
This would ease congestion on the roads, allowing an easier and quicker flow of municipal buses and private minibuses (known as “chapas”), which those who cannot afford 3,500 meticais will continue to use.
Camal said the journey between Matola and Maputo by Metrobus will take just 15 minutes. The Metrobus railcars, unlike the passenger trains operated by the public company CFM, will not be restricted to peak hours, but will make the Maputo-Matola journey throughout the day.
Fleetrail has imported four second hand railcars from New Zealand, each with four carriages. From the rail stations about 100 buses, also operated by Fleetrail, will take passengers to their final destinations.
Speaking to the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, on Wednesday, Transport Minister Carlos Mesquita, predicted that Metrobus will transport 3.6 million passengers in 2018. This is about 9,860 journeys a day (including weekends).
Assuming each person makes the journey twice a day that will mean 4.930 people using the new system. Fleetrail’s gamble is that there are that number of people currently making the journey by car who are willing to pay 3,500 meticais a month to switch to the combined train and bus pass.Source: AIM