Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, the population is 268,132 in year 2019, the largest city in Namibia.
Government urgently aware of improving public transport
From greenclimate.fund, The Government of the Republic of Namibia is very aware that public transport plays a very important role in the management of a city, town or the country as a whole. Some of the co-benefits of public transport are the reductions seen in pollution and congestion, the affordability of transport for people who cannot afford their own means of transport and thus public transport is one of the location connectivity enablers.
The table below outlines passengers and revenue statistical data for the Financial Years 2012/2013, 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 respectively.
Financial issue of public transport development
From ASSESSING THE NEED OF FUNDING FOR A SUSTAINABLE PUBLIC
TRANSPORT BUS SERVICE FOR THE CITY OF WINDHOEK 2018
The new buses started on NEW LINES from 2016.
The City of Windhoek’s public bus service requires at least NAD 2, 82 billion for the 7 years (2016-2022), of which NAD 1,23 billion is needed for capital projects and NAD 1,59 billion to cover operational costs. Approximately NAD 955 million could be covered by fare revenue but a funding gap of NAD 1, 86 billion still exists. The funds are needed to replace the ageing fleet of the City of Windhoek public bus service of which 60% of the buses have already passed their economic life span. The operations and maintenance of the bus fleet are also a challenge due to the poor conditions of the buses most of which are old and have become unreliable.
According to CODATU, fares are the primary sources of funding for public transport on an operational level.
To leverage their own finances and funding from international sources, national governments could tap into local funding and explore other innovative sources which can include:
– Land value tax
– User fees (bus fares)
– Collection of fuel pricing and reduction of subsidies
Raising the above funding sources is a very important aspect.
Management of card payment issue
Previously, the bus service operated with tokens and or cash. A new system utilizing smart card technology has already been introduced. Since then, a parallel system of tokens, cash and smart cards had been used.
MUNICIPAL bus commuters have criticized the municipality’s decision to block their passenger smart cards if they use it more than once for a single trip. In press release this week, the City of Windhoek encouraged passenger smart cards holders not to use their cards more than once for a single trip, adding that it would block cards and replace them at a cost of NAD 30.
Commuters complain bus cards change
Pahee Kambuaimue, one of the commuters, said that they felt it is not fair for the municipality to decide how they must use the credits on their cards. She added that she uses one card with her two children each morning and again when she goes to work while the children are at school.
According to the City public relation officer, Lydia Amutenya, employers mostly recharge these cards for their employees.
She added that the employers in most cases come to the municipality to complain while their employees swipe the cards for others in exchange for money.
The employees then tell their employers that they lost the cards and the employers come to acquire another cards.
A lot of under development country may come across financial issue to develop new public transport system. Moreover, it may still have issue as above for the improper management to improve the service like payment issue above even they run the system for years.
As above mentioned, raising fund depending on modes of public transport and the manner in which these modes are organised, the fare may or may not cover all the operating costs.
Learning from places with the AFC system, an automated fare collection (AFC) system will definitely improve the financial situation of most bus companies. As a result it must generate sufficient revenues for its financial sustainability, to continually service the
ever expanding travel demand.
The writer is a frequency traveler. For more detail about AFC, please visit autofare.net.