One of the major problems in Port Moresby is the lack of a reliable, safe and comfortable public transport system.
The current situation is that unless you have your own vehicle or can hire a car you have very little choice but to use Public Motor Vehicles (PMV) or Taxis. Not all these two forms of public transport are bad but both of them have a rather negative reputation.
The negative reputation is that they lack basic cleanliness, the drivers do not complete their designated routes, there is potential to overcharge and under deliver and in some cases the vehicles are un-roadworthy. In relation to the latter, how they pass through road safety checks is beyond us but the fact is the general public do not have much of a choice.
One possible idea we thought of was the possibility of having companies involved in the system. Not directly involved but through sponsorship in the form of vehicle wrappers like the one for Fincorp above.
The idea is that if companies can extend their marketing mix to include vehicle wrapping they would be able to choose the best vehicles to place their wraps. Best in the form of cleanliness, roadworthy, completing routes and presentable drivers. Obviously, these are the kind of features commuters prefer but is lacking.
The bus owners are winners too from sponsorship or advertising on the buses. This additional revenue stream has the potential to influence owners to fulfil the basic obligations including completing their designated routes. After all, companies who invest in a bus will want the basic obligations (as mentioned above) complied with.
The positive for the company is that it gives them an additional avenue to extend their reach whilst at the same time contributing to an important part of the city lifestyle. It not only builds brand awareness but generates positive public relations with the community.
Would this be a threat to existing PMV’s?
Not necessarily but rather an additional opportunity for the public to choose from. Obviously, not all businesses are going to sign up a bus but it does give the public a choice of selecting a bus that they find safe and reliable. With a corporate backing, there is some guarantee in those sponsored buses.
The more companies get involved the more choice there is. This encourages bus owners to be more competitive in securing sponsors and there is not better way to prove that they are worthy of sponsorship by the image of their bus and drivers.
The idea is not so much to replace the current system (although it is recommended) but something that can be done for the time being.
What do you think?