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SLRTC transitions from operator to regulator

By Bampia James Bundu, Strategic Communications Unit, MIC

Minister of Transport and Aviation has announced that the Sierra Leone Road Transport Corporation (SLRTC) has transitioned from a public transport operator to a public transport regulatory authority and will henceforth become the Sierra Leone Public Transport Authority (SLPTA).

Kabineh Kallon made the disclosure during the weekly Ministry of Information and Communications press conference on Thursday, February 11, 2021.

He stated that in July 2019, the government and the World Bank through his ministry inaugurated the Sierra Leone Integrated Resilient Urban Mobility Project (IRUMP).

The project's objectives, he said, include improving quality public transport systems, addressing climate resilience, enhancing road safety and building the capacity of key stakeholders in the transport sector.

“Our vision is to transform the city from a congested vehicle-oriented city to a resilient people-oriented city. In order to achieve this goal, government has decided to separate the public transport regulatory functions from the operational functions by transforming the Sierra Leone Road Transport Corporation (SLRTC), currently a public transport operator, to a public transport regulatory authority,” he said.

He noted that the transition will significantly improve transport service delivery by bringing public transport functions into a single, well managed, and focused institutional structure.

He maintained that the role of the new authority will include, among others, developing a public transport policy, conducting regulatory, management and compliance function, developing and managing performance-based service delivery contacts, conducting studies and knowledge management, and monitoring the performance of licensed transport service providers.

Minister Kallon added that the authority will support the transition of SLRTC from an informal self-regulated system to a transport sector, operating with functioning contractual arrangements to deliver services of specified standards.

He disclosed that extensive discussions are ongoing with stakeholders, including national and city agencies, private operators, drivers’ union, civil society organizations, citizen welfare groups and residents to develop the framework.

In his statement, General Manager of the Sierra Leone Road Transport Corporation, Isaac Ken-Green, said the immediate tasks of the Authoity will be to support migration from the current informal self-regulated public transport activities to functioning in a contractual environment, where the business model will require the operator associations to enter a contractual agreement with the authority for the purpose of delivering specified services for a specified period.

The press conference was moderated by the Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, Mamadi Gobeh-Kamara, who updated members of the press and the public on government's activities.

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