Government will maintain the free travel scheme for the Metro Express project, in line with its philosophy of improving the life of the citizens. Old aged and disabled persons will be allowed to travel free of charge whilst students will be provided with the opportunity of travelling free of charge on the journey between their residence and their educational institution on school days.
The Minister of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport, Mr Nandcoomar Bodha, gave the assurance yesterday in the National Assembly while answering to a Parliamentary Question with regard to the Free Public Transport Scheme.
He recalled that the Metro Express project is a major infrastructure project that will upgrade and modernise the public transport system in Mauritius. It will provide a safe, reliable, comfortable means of transport that will reduce travel time for users and special features will be considered in the design of stations and urban terminals for the elderly and disabled, he said.
The Free Travel Scheme was introduced in 2005 with a view to providing free public transport to students at primary, secondary and tertiary levels for their educational needs as well as to old aged pensioners and disabled persons for their personal needs. This scheme has been maintained since then and currently students can travel free of charge on the journey between their residence and their educational institution on school days whilst old aged and disabled persons are allowed to travel free of charge without any restriction, the Minister recalled.
Since the introduction of the scheme, Government has been compensating bus operators in Mauritius and Rodrigues to the tune of some Rs 1.2 billion annually. The compensatory mechanism is being re-engineered to make it more transparent and bring in more accountability, said Mr Bodha.
Source: Government of Mauritius