September 10, 2016 5:56 pm

Safe and reliable transportation is vital, says Minister Bala

The government has invested a significant amount of money in improving road infrastructure in Fiji in the last three years.  Minister for Local Government, Housing, Environment, Infrastructure and Transport Hon. Parveen Kumar Bala highlighted this today at the Fiji Bus Operators Association (FBOA) Annual Convention in Lami.  Minister Bala said Government was committed to providing safe […]

The government has invested a significant amount of money in improving road infrastructure in Fiji in the last three years. 

Minister for Local Government, Housing, Environment, Infrastructure and Transport Hon. Parveen Kumar Bala highlighted this today at the Fiji Bus Operators Association (FBOA) Annual Convention in Lami. 

Minister Bala said Government was committed to providing safe and reliable public transportation through the development of sustainable road infrastructure. 

“In this regard, Government has invested, ranging from $415 million in 2014, $653 million in 2015 and $527 million in 2016, on infrastructure construction and renewals to address the backlog in the maintenance of our road infrastructure including bridges and jetties,” Minister Bala said. 

According to the recent Household Travel Survey conducted by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, about 95 percent of the population depended on and used bus services as a preferred mode of commuting from one destination to another. 

The launching of the Transport Policy and Transport Planning Database by the ministry in July this year ensures that are proper policies and mechanisms in place for an improved public transportation. 

“The Transport Policy encompassed a sector assessment providing an overall assessment of the profile of transport system, institutions and traffic operations including some historical perspective, present situation, policy and investment actions that will be targeted. It also compliments Government’s vision by supporting and providing the basis for the development of the transport sector for the next 20 years. 

“The implementation of the National Transport Planning Database will address efficiency within the transport sector, enabling an integrated information system that will assist Government and other transport users to make sound transport policy and business decisions,” Minister Bala said. 

The bus industry contributes about 6 per cent towards the country’s Gross Domestic Product. 

About 70 stakeholders from the bus industry were part of the day-long convention.