A new bus service aimed at addressing the short bus route in Honiara will start serving the city this Sunday.
Two new jumbo buses will service two routes in the city which will see adult and children paying $5.00 and $3.00 respectively for four trips in a day.
The buses can carry around 55 passengers each per trip.
The new buses will operate the routes between Airport motel in the East of the city to White River in West Honiara.
Ropiko Enterprise Limited (REL) initiated the idea to subsidise the cost of bus fare which costs the traveling public so much each day.
According to the operator – Roland Pikoone of the buses will serve from Airport Motel down to Fair Trade parking area opposite Honiara city council while the other bus will operate from White River to the Honiara city area.
“These two buses will serve Honiara in two separate routes starting at 6am to 8pm.
“One bus will serve the route from Airport Motel to Fair Trade area opposite Honiara City council which will be called the bus bay and the other one will serve the route from White River to Honiara city council bus bay and return the same route,” Mr Piko said.
Mr Piko explained that passengers will have to pay for a ticket before boarding the buses and not giving cash to the bus conductors as was used to be.
“With this new bus service and its ticketing system adult will be charged $5 and children $3 to board the buses and a passenger is entitled to travel 4 times in one day using that same ticket in any of the routes.”
For instance if you are traveling from White River to Honiara city that’s the first trip, and then from Honiara City Council to Airport motel that’s your second trip, it was revealed.
When you enter the bus, bus conductors will clip the ticket to identify that one of the four trips is being used up, he explained.
When the Solomon star asked him why he initiated the idea Mr Piko said the idea was based on a daily experience by a friend and testimony of the traveling public and also to solve the short bus route in the city.
“One of my friends who lives in town and works at the Henderson area told me he spends around $36 in a day just for bus fare from Point Cruz to airport and vice versa.
“From my friend’s experience I decided to introduce this new bus service to help people save some money.I know this would be not solve the short bus route but to at least help the traveling public who have been victimised for so long by the short bus route and are catching 3 to 6 buses every day to work,” the Marovo man said.
He said the two new buses will be on trial and if there is a demand for the service then two more jumbo buses will be ordered soon.
“This is just trials and if this move works out well then two more jumbo buses would be ordered hopefully before the year ends.”
He appealed to the traveling people in Honiara to uses these buses wisely to help serve their money ,’’he said.
With each bus carrying about 55 people,it means if offers 22 seats and allows for 33 passengers standing.
A Honiara resident Jon Ghomi Jnr said this new initiative is a good news for Honiara residents because it would allow an adult to spend $5.00 for a day in bus fare.
He said with this new package and service there is going to be a demand for the service adding there should be more of such bus operating in the city now, given the increasing population.
He thanked Mr Piko for the vision to address the problem related to public transport in the city.
By DENVER NEWTER