THE Land Transport Authority and the Fiji Bus Operators Association (FBOA) have welcomed the collection of opinions from the recent Greater Suva Area Transportation Strategy 2014-2030 report by the Fiji Roads Authority.
The report revealed that between 2014 and 2030, peak hour traffic on Kings Rd would increase by 22 per cent, and travel times by 25 per cent. This is based on the conservation assumption that buses retain their role as the main mode of transport.
FRA said a list of 137 priority projects was developed for consideration for implementation over the next 15 years to tackle issues with the transport network.
This included dedicated bus lanes, improved bus terminals, linked traffic signals, improved pedestrian safety, enforcement, intersection upgrades and planning (further planning).
"LTA welcomes such initiative that allows a convenient mechanism in terms of mass transportation using public service vehicle," LTA spokesman Iliesa Sokia said.
"The bulk of our travelling public resort to bus mode as the preferred choice and mode because it's faster, cheaper and affordable. Bus operators are aware of this huge contribution they play in the movement of people in greater Suva area.
"We need to have an enabling environment that will facilitate and maximise the current bus service. Capacity building along the Suva/Nausori corridor will surely allow more people to travel via bus.
"The fluctuating fuel prices could bring about minimal use of private vehicles by owners, and buses could be an alternative choice."
FBOA president Virendra Kewal said FRA should look into dedicating a lane specifically for buses.
"I have seen them, in the Suva to Nausori corridor, widening the roads. It will definitely ease some of the flow but maybe if there was bus lane dedicated to buses, the movement of buses will be faster.
"Bus stops are a bit of a problem too, they are too small and cannot accommodate the buses.
"Some buses have to park on the road."