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Motor Vehicle Ownership Has Grown For The Past Nine Years

Fiji’s strong economic growth over the past nine years has seen a corresponding growing trend of  motor vehicle/car ownership. As a result, traffic congestion becomes a daily nightmare – at
20 Oct 2018 10:09
Motor Vehicle Ownership Has Grown For The Past Nine Years

Fiji’s strong economic growth over the past nine years has seen a corresponding growing trend of  motor vehicle/car ownership.

As a result, traffic congestion becomes a daily nightmare – at least from Monday to Friday.

Commuters who travel along the Suva-Nausori corridor during peak hours are too familiar about the problem.

An Asian Development Bank report called ‘Greening the Fiji Bus Industry’ noted that without taking proactive management, the traffic congestion, particularly in urban areas can only worsen.

David Fay of the ADB while speaking at the 15th Fiji National Transport Consultative Forum said that vehicle registration had grown by 24 per cent between 2013 and 2016, compared to nine per cent between 2010 and 2013.

He made the following recommendations:

  • Bus fleet upgrading with clean, efficient buses
  • Better infrastructure that would include:
  • Upgraded bus stops
  • Bus priority measures in congested transport corridors
  • Improving bus terminals
  • Walking infrastructure
  • Parking management in congested areas

 

Information Technology System:

  • Modern e-ticketing system.
  • Bus management and information systems
  • Strengthening regulations and enforcement of public transport standards.

 

Fiji Roads Authority chief executive officer Jonathan Moore took the opportunity to outline some of their immediate plans.

  • Have a dedicated bus lane from Suva to Nausori
  • Introduction of a cycle lane along the entire Queen Elizabeth Drive, Laucala Bay Road and Ratu Sukuna Road.

 

As FRA moves forward with two new contractors, Higgins and Dayal Quarry for the Rewa Bridge up to 9-miles roadworks, Mr Moore said they are making changes to a number design issues and are planning to introduce a cycle lane from the Fiji National University Koronivia campus side and into 9 miles.

“The actual infrastructure cost for us to include the bus lane, cycle lane is very small.”

However, it’s the cost of land in Suva at least, that is phenomenally high, he said.

“We have situations right now where to build a road is sometimes more expensive to acquire the land rather than to build the road.

“The time taken to acquire land can take years.”

Mr Moore emphasised that it was not just FRA’s job to get the public transport system working and keep the traffic congestion problem in check.

“We can put the roads in, we can put the bus stands and the bus shelters in – but to make a dedicated bus service work, we need a park and ride system, we need car parks, we need lanes for a car park, we need to incentivise so they can people can use the facility.”

Feedback:  rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj

 



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