Freetown City Council tests bus routes and bus stops as part of preparations for the effective operation of new school buses in Sierra Leone

Mayor  Aki-Sawyerr and Team

On Friday 13th September 2019, Freetown City Council took possession of 12 new school buses that were procured by the Ministry of Transport and Aviation to support the central government’s *Free Quality Education programme.* The introduction of the school buses also directly supports *#Transform Freetown #EducationTargets*. In order to ensure that the school buses are operated efficiently and are properly maintained, FCC is spending 5 days to put critical systems in place including:

1. Testing the bus routes and confirming the condition of the proposed bus stops so that appropriate action can be immediately taken where bus stops need to cleared;
2. Confirming the cost-recovery bus fares based on bus fuel consumption, estimated bus maintenance costs, drivers’ salaries and printing of bus tickets;
3. Actual printing of bus tickets with bar codes that will be scanned by the bus conductors which allow the FCC to track the number of tickets redeemed and track the number of students utilizing the school bus service each day;
4. Introducing a bus tracking and monitoring system that will allow the FCC, traffic police and most importantly Freetown’s pupils and parents to track on a mobile device the movement of each bus along the designated routes.

The preparation work is well underway!

School Buses

Yesterday, Saturday 14th September, FCC, SLP Traffic and SLRSA representatives were onboard the 12 buses as each bus travelled along its proposed bus route, stopping at the proposed bus stops as it went along. Notes were taken of any problems identified and the fuel consumption for each bus route was documented. The bus tracking app was utilized so that journey summaries and timings were captured (see photo).

FCC is working round the clock to ensure that everything is in place to roll out an efficient and sustainable Freetown school bus service from *6.30am on Thursday 19th September 2019*. A comprehensive press release will be issued on Tuesday 17th September to confirm the bus fares, the bus routes and bus operation times.

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