Lamin Jahateh, Banjul
A new initiative to establish a national public transport services to facilitate the provision of standard transport system, is now operational at the Gambia Transport, Agricultural, Food, and Industrial Workers Union (GTAFIWU) at the Gambia Red Cross Building in West Field, Kanifing Municipality.
“Fangsoto” (meaning ‘self-reliant in Mandinka) transport services is set up by young Gambians with a view to further improving the public transport system, ensure proper management of transportation services in the country, and limit conflicts between vehicle owners and drivers, among others.
“Once you have signed an agreement with us, we take proper care of your vehicle, appoint a driver and we will be responsible for maintenance services, and as the owner, you can collect your money on weekly, monthly or any form of agreement you may agree with our determined and committed administration,” said Ms Fatou Sidibeh, administrative secretary of the Gambian owned establishment.
An initiative by Gambians, Fangsoto is out to improve transport services through networking, and to increase means of employment, and the socio-economic growth and development of the country.
“The public transport service sector is meant to encourage vehicle owners involved in the transportation of people and goods,” she said, adding: "Most vehicle owners have lost trust and confidence in those drivers. Most vehicles on the road do not have the needed repairs and maintenance, to which effect drivers and vehicle owners push blame on each other, and consequently mark the end of the vehicle.”
She continued: “Drivers do not have the trust and confidence in vehicle owners, which has resulted in carefree and careless driving. For that and many more reasons experienced by both vehicle owners and drivers, the Fansoto Transport Services is open to encourage a public transport service sector, to serve as a mediator between vehicle owners and drivers, within its jurisdiction and the nation at large.”
Commenting on the aims of Fangsoto, Ms Sidibeh said the self-independence driven transportation services creates a better working condition for its drivers by taking the burden of breach between drivers, vehicle owners and the public at large.
She said the initiative also introduces private and commercial transportation system with a base and the the use of CABIN system which will involve car radios communication system, where customers would only need to dial the office, and a transport would be made available wherever they are.
Sidibeh said the new company will also establish a driving training school branch for drivers to ensure professionalism in their service delivery.
“The driving school will be explicit in its theory and practical and will produce competent drivers at the end of their trainings. Drivers will go through a recruitment training prior to employment. Their conditions of service are our pride. Attractive salaries will be paid and maximum security in the field of work ensured. Professional drivers guided by
knowledge and skills on traffic code of conduct thoughts will be ensured.”
Fangsoto can be reached through the following contact numbers: 00220 9837903/ 6900897/ 6837903/ 7785128