Madagascar- Madagascar transporters have decided to import 500 new buses from China to improve the country’s public transportation, official sources said.
“The new vehicles are expected to arrive in the capital Antananarivo in June,” Mr Jocelyn Andrianambinintsoa of the Malagasy transporters union, told reporters Tuesday.
The buyers have opted for the products of the Chinese manufacturer Yutong for technical and financial reasons.
Two types of buses were proposed to the transporters: A bus containing 40 seats was negotiated for $40,000 while the one with 30 seats was purchased at $30,000.
The transporters will get the financial guarantee of the government.
An arrangement with two Madagascar’s commercial banks that are to fund the operation has been concluded, the source said.
The initiative to modernise the country’s common transport has been in the pipeline since last year.
Commuters have for long complained about the bad quality service observed across the island.
The vehicles in use are not only old but the fares charged are also considered exploitative.
In last December, President Andry Rajoelina sent to China a delegation to select any manufacturers they wanted to cooperate with.
Last month, representatives of three Chinese vehicle constructors such as Yutong, Hengtong and Higer met with their eventual clients in Antananarivo.
The plan to buy the big number of buses from China is like a mini-revolution for the nation land transportation.
Historical records show similar initiative dates back to the 1980s.
The then-government encouraged importation of hundreds of Japanese buses while the country was a popular exhibit destination for cars made in Europe.