Kabineh Kallon, Transport and Aviation Minister
The Minister of Transport and Aviation, Kabineh Kallon, last week officially announced the transformation of the Sierra Leone Road Transport Corporation (SLRTC) from a public transport operator to a public transport regulatory authority. The move means that henceforth the agency is called the Sierra Leone Public Transport Authority (SLPTA).
Minister Kallon said the move is part of the implementation of the Sierra Leone Integrated Resilient Urban Mobility Project (IRUMP), which was inaugurated in July 2019 by the Government of Sierra Leone and the World Bank.
The IRUMP, according to the minister, is geared towards 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,” Mr Kallon said at the weekly government press briefing in the conference room of the Ministry of Information and Communications on Thursday. He added that to achieve this goal, the government decided to separate the public transport regulatory functions from the operational functions by transforming the Sierra Leone Road Transport Corporation into a regulatory authority.
Minister Kallon assured that the transition will significantly improve transport service delivery by bringing public transport functions into a single, well managed, and focused institutional structure. He noted that the role of the new Authority would include 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.
The minister went on to say 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 also said 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 larger framework.
The General Manager of the Sierra Leone Road Transport Corporation, Isaac Ken-Green, said that the immediate tasks of the Authority will be to support migration from the current informal self-regulated public transport activities to one functioning in a contractual environment, where the business model will require the operator Associations to enter a contractual agreement with the Authority to deliver specified services for a specified period.