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As from Tuesday night, Maputo has, for the first time, a night bus service, allowing students or shift workers to make their journeys home on public transport.
The Maputo Metropolitan Transport Agency (AMT) launched the new service with 18 buses serving nine routes in Maputo city and province. The night buses begin running at 23.00 and continue until 06.00 the following morning, with one bus per hour on each route. Passengers pay a flat fare of 35 meticais (about 54 US cents), regardless of how far they are travelling.
At the launch of the service, AMT chairperson Antonio Matos said the Agency had coordinated with the city and provincial governments, who participated in all the preparatory meetings. “The authorities have been duly informed, and the drivers and fare collectors have been alerted to the specific nature of the service”, he added.
Matos announced that, as from July, electronic tracking of AMT buses will be introduced. AMT will make available a computer application which will allow would-be passengers to use mobile phones or computers to check where the buses they intend to catch are and when they should arrive.
Transport Minister Carlos Mesquita urged the drivers of the night buses to be disciplined in their work, so that the new service does not become another factor in causing traffic accidents. In particular, he insisted that the drivers should avoid consumption of alcohol.
“To ensure that the services we are celebrating today do not lead to an increase in road accidents, we urge the operators to undertake permanent work in promoting road safety, and in monitoring the behaviour of their drivers”, he said.
Mesquita said that the development of Maputo and the surrounding area is characterised by a growing number of companies working in shifts. For people working in these companies, the introduction of a night bus service is highly pertinent, he stressed.
“We expect that this will reduce the demand for private transport, particularly at night, when fatigue can be enormous and concentration is greatly reduced”, said the Minister. He urged the drivers to rest during the day, before taking to the wheel.Source: AIM