An Australian volunteer who was doing whatever volunteers do in PNG.
I was there for 2 years until Dec 2005 .. I hope I made the most of it.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Bus Fare Increase

This doesn't affect me but out of curiosity there is a bus fare increase in Port Moresby. A radical jump from 50 toea to 70 toea.

Somehow though even because there is an increase, I don't think that the quality of the service will improve greatly.

It is probably only a matter of time before they increase the cost of the buses in Lae. At the moment the situation arises where the more people there are waiting for a bus the shorter the trip will be. For example if it is a peak time at the Unigate the bus will cram in as many people and then go to Eriku, half-way to town. If there are not many people the bus will probably go all the way to town.

Going into town is pretty easy. The problem as I have said before is coming back.

Anyway the cartoon below came out in today's Post-Courier and I think it sums up what the bus service is like. Like most of the Grass Roots cartoons the drawing is good, but the joke is lost on me. I guess I am losing some local quirk in the literal translation of the tok pisin (pidgin). Click on it to get a full size version.

The translation goes as follows. The first guy says.
Eh please!! We've paid the 70t new bus fare already. Where is the improved service.
The next guy chips up ...
No worries. The driver said we will push the bus to 6 Mile and there he will buy a betel nut for each of us.
Like I said not particularly funny though it is a pretty accurate drawing of a bus.

Eventually I plan to do a photo exposé on the public transport system in this country. Getting up close and personal on the buses, minivans, trucks and even guys riding their bikes with big bunches of bananas hanging over the handlebar. I might even try to find a friendly bus driver and sit in the front with him for half a day and get shots all around the place - and of his bus.