He said the company had deployed 51 per cent of its 1017 buses in the rural areas to enhance transportation of goods and people in view of the high demand in those areas.
According to him, the move was also part of a restructuring programme aimed at improving services to its clients.
Mr Obeng was responding to questions in Accra, posed by the Daily Graphic regarding the small number of Metro Mass buses seen in the streets in the cities in recent times.
“It may seem as if the MMTL transport system is fading away in the cities but this is not so,” he said.
He said by deploying more buses to the rural areas, the company was able to generate more revenue, which places it in a position to import additional buses to augment its fleet.
He said rural areas close to towns like Dambai in the Northern Region, Wa in the Upper West Region, Kade in the Eastern Region, Agogo in the Ashanti Region and Dunkwa, Abuesi and Dwaboso, all in the Western Region, generated 80 per cent of targeted revenue as compared to 20 per cent of target revenue generated in the cities.
According to him, 116 air-conditioned buses are expected in the country by March this year. He said it was anticipated that the buses would make public transportation much more affordable and accessible.
He said the buses, which are from China, would be spread across both urban and rural areas of the country.
Mr Obeng said the company had developed a five-year strategic plan in which an additional 1,000 buses would be brought into the country by the year 2018, to improve the existing number of buses.
He said the company was paying attention to complaints from passengers with regard to the state in which the Metro Mass buses were.
Under the circumstances, he said, the company was rehabilitating a number of its buses. So far, he said, 73 of the buses had been repainted while 127 of them had been rehabilitated, especially the interiors, to provide comfort for passengers.
“Among items that have been restored are broken seats, faulty electric doors and defective hand rails, all meant to ensure safety in the buses,” he said.
In addition, he said, a number of measures had also been instituted to reduce road accidents involving the company’s vehicles.
He said in 2014, the company recorded 198 road accidents as against 255 recorded in 2013, a reduction of 22.4 per cent in accidents.
The measures, he said, included periodic lessons on attitudinal change for the organisation’s drivers. He said 162 of them had so far been taken through instructions.
He said he was hopeful that the lessons would encourage the drivers to improve on their attitudes and curb reported conflicts between them and passengers.
Mr Obeng noted that the company was committed to the safety of its passengers and as such was working hard to ensure that it remained so.the E.P. Church to consider engaging watchmen for the cluster