Granted the indisputable fact that as a result of the past fratricidal crisis in the country that resulted to the massive destruction of infrastructures since built by previous administrations, principally involving roads and bridges, accessibility to areas of commuters’ destinations has become serious impediment in satisfactorily accomplishing daily tasks, whether at the workplace or personal missions.
Whilst the Ministry of Transport had over the years shown concerns over the grave situation by exploring alternatives that subsequently led to the establishment of the National Transit Authority (NTA), apparently refining the nomenclature from the Monrovia Transit Authority (MTA) that evolved as a result of the tremendous efforts exerted by the late Monrovia City Mayor Gayflor Yanquoi Johnson during the early 1980s to bring relief to many commuters, with the arrival of TATA buses from the Republic of France remaining to his credit, an elderly man remarks: “Some good days have truly gone by when one could easily charter a Taxi or vehicle for that matter at affordable prices.”
Against the backdrop of the odds therefore experienced by Liberians, particularly in Monrovia and its environs in recent decade and having had most of the commercial TATA buses to have experienced breakdowns, with the past civil crisis rendering all idling or destroyed, the NTA has since begun proving new hopes to many with several new buses since donated or purchased from the Republic of India.
Still insufficient and as organized as the management of the NTA has had to employ systematization in the effectuation of its responsibilities to the public, motorcycles have had to buttress the efforts, although initially in an unorganized manner that gradually unfolded into the establishment of the Liberia Motorcycle Transport Union (LMTU).
Undoubtedly, whilst most operators of motorcycles have not acquired requisite training and at most times led riders to calling many “war time riders,” evolving from the many deadly accidents that have occurred, the simple maintenance of motorcycles by owners or renters have been of major concern to the riding public, as a matter of safety.
Simply beginning the day’s “hustle” by first washing the motorcycle, ensuring the spark plug is clean and free of dirt, air filter, oil filter, exhaust pipe, carburetor, and if experiencing pulling problem cleaning the cylinder and neatly oiling it with either Oil 30 or 40, a neatly-placed cylinder head gasket to stop air leakage, checking the head and tail lights (signals), as well as ensuring that the spokes are in tight, many find it inexpedient to do so out of their eagerness to earn as much as they can.
Worst is that amidst the extremely high fares charged commuters, it has become habitual of many to buy half gallon of gas without knowing the distance that such quantity takes them or their passengers, been an old YAMAHA 100 operator and mechanic thereat, eventhough most of the TVS and others are smaller.
Against these odds and apparently for the second time around, the PCLM situated on Sinkor Old Road, between Kailondo Hotel and the Plaza, has decided to help formalize their activities through thorough training as means to ensuring safety of riders.
Indeed a worthwhile exercise, though the LMTU is seeking donations or grants from friendly partners, the initiative embarked upon by the PCLM is worth encouraging, since Liberia’s road network, gradually improving as it is becoming with the Ministry of Public Works providing hope to citizens in upgrading the level in the coming years, the establishment of even a school as envisaged by the LMTU would only come about were motorcyclists to first take full advantage of the little now been offered by the PCLM.
Until then, the NTA ought to be appreciated and encouraged in providing more fleets as promised this year, so that even the rural population can be redeemed from the exorbitant and uncontrollable fares been experienced by the poor. Perhaps the Bee Charters could just be the new beginning to helping citizens and friends alike. These are the little things that matter.