By Sailu Bah
The newly established Gambia Transport Services Company (GTSC) has officially commenced a new bus service called the ‘Special Express’ to be covering the Kanifing to Basse route on the south bank of the Gambia. This new service was launched at a ceremony held on Wednesday, 2 July, 2014 at the GTSC headquarters in Kanifing and graced by company officials, guests, passengers and the media.
In his welcoming remark, Mr. Raymond Ceesay, the GTSC Admin and Human Resources Manager who also chaired the session, said this new service is introduced to help the people to travel long distances in a safe and comfortable manner and without any waste of time. He said the new service has more facilities than the previous one and it is very fast, efficient, reliable and timely.
“We are very proud to introduce this bus to the people because it has coincided with the Ramadan, the time, we believe people need the bus service most,” said Mr. Ceesay.
In his launching statement, Mr. Seedy Kanyi, the General Manager of GTCS, said the company’s number one priority is to always endeavour to bring innovative services to its esteem customers. As they are launching this new service, he said, they have a surprise in store for their customers who are boarding the maiden voyage. He revealed that the customers will each be given 5 kilogram of sugar as a Ramadan gift in keeping with tradition as well as a discount of 50% or half of the fare.
The GTSC General Manager noted that another difference with this new service is that the passengers would be served cold water during the course of the long journey to quench their thirst. He added that this service with fully air conditioned buses is highly needed as well as timely as it offers a more comfortable atmosphere.
Mr. Kanyi concluded by thanking the government and the Social Security and Finance Cooperation (SSHFC) for the initiative in setting up the company and their continuous support and also the customers for patronizing the bus service.
Mr. Babou Johm, the Revenue Control Manager, started by thanking the management and staff of the company for what he described as “a job well done.”
Mr. Johm said GTSC was initiated after the roads were built in order to facilitate the transportation of people travelling the length and breadth of the country with ease and comfort. He said the previous express service was called Regular Express, but that this new one is called Special Express as it is faster and more comfortable. He announced that the fare for the regular service is D250 while it is D350 for the Special Express because of the extra facilities.
The Revenue Control Manager also announced that two buses will be departing every day from Kanifing to Basse and Basse to Kanifing at 8am and 9am respectively.
For his part, Mr. Momodou Jammeh, Assistant Traffic Manager, appealed to passengers joining their bus service to cooperate with them and not to throw their tickets until inspection is done in order to avoid the problem of paying extra fares, adding that their fares are cheaper.
The announcement of the fare discount and sugar gift was made during the inspection tour of the bus as the first passengers boarded amidst a cheerful response.
Responding to the gesture on behalf of the passengers, Alasana Saine and Sigga Saine thanked the company for both the fare discount and sugar gift and prayed for its continuous and successful operation.