This afternoon I was sitting on a bench near National Art Gallery located in the Sultan Park. In a while my attention was caught by roaring sound of a bus engine. Within next hour or so I went on to see several buses maneuvering to get in and out of the stop in front of Sultan Park. It was fairly packed. Some were sitting while few were standing on the small sized white-painted bus. Office workers, students and foreign expatriates were the most common type of passengers on the scene. The passengers on the bus were funny, and sometimes they go crazy over the engine sound, as you know most locals experiencing bus service for the first time.
After prolong delays this service commenced in Malé, the capital city of Maldives on Thursday, 23rd of June. But some are suspicious over this project. Still their argument is how feasible it would be to successfully operate public bus services on, sometimes heavily congested narrow streets of Malé. It is an everyday seen to view lined-up cars, motorcycles and other types of vehicles mainly due to traffic jam.
Taxis are one of the most common modes of transportation in the densely populated capital of Malé. You can reach any point of this one square mile capital city by a taxi just for 20 Mrf, though you are going to a distance of merely 100 meters or over a kilometer.
At a special ceremony to begin bus service to Malé President Nasheed inaugurated the service. Along with his party officials, senior government officials and senior members of the MVK the service provider joined him and drove the bus starting from Alima Carnival to Maafannu No 1 café known as “Alibe Kada” for their morning breakfast. President Nasheed was reported to have taken a Disk-Mashuni (Maldivian traditional breakfast). The president, who came to power pledging establishment of a public transportation service across the country, fulfilled another segment of his endeavor.
It is being hailed as another milestone of his government. However, originally previous government planned this. They had lots of deliberations and planning’s but was short of implementing it. That time around, I guess they faced pressure from well over 500 taxi drivers in the city. They believed apart from being traffic-jammed it would upset taxi drivers’ business. They felt before starting such service they had to plan the streets adding up extra piece of land to make bus stops and bus stands.
Originally I wrote this article on the 23 June 2011. Today, I see bus service is gaining momentum as more and more people are taking up the service.