Wednesday , 22 March 2023
Highway traffic is flowing again with a vengeance, in the capital, along with the anarchy this entails. In spite of the efforts of the traffic agents, highway users and passengers are far from being satisfied.

Toward a highway agency which will stand against anarchy

The Transportation Minister concedes that the highway transportation agency is not adequately structured. There exists no regulatory authority for this area; no one knows what kind of vehicle must, and/or is allowed to provide which transportation service; no one knows what the rules are, within the city, in the suburbs, and nationally. There are cooperative, or syndicated organizations, but the users are far from being satisfied with the service they provide.

Life is far from being a picnic for the daily bus, minivan, or taxicab users who either stand, huddle up or are packed in like sardines. And no one knows whom they should turn to with their grievances. The Transportation Minister must establish a structure, such as the air transportation?s ACM (the Malagasy Civil Aviation Agency), which will keep the government from meddling in productive activities. The ministry will work in concert with highway transportation experts to create a highway transportation authority which will establish highway codes, and signs based on the areas of activity.

Moreover, the problem which came to light, in the capital, with the rickshaw traffic situation, reveals not only the highway transportation agency deficiency, but also the lack of imagination of the operators, or at least their willingness to continue to exploit this archaic, but easily established type of labor. It is a known fact that the daily rental rate for a rickshaw varies between 4 and 5 Euros, just shy of the rental rate of some categories of taxicabs. It is also common knowledge that a rickshaw requires little or no maintenance.

The rickshaws represent a typical case of the capital?s ?unofficial? sector. One could say that, in this case, ?unofficial? is synonymous with ?irresponsible? because in the event of an accident, the victim has no one to turn to, but the operator who is registered nowhere, and who carries no insurance, whatsoever.

Translated by J. F. Razanamiadana