VIP buses rendered iddle at Dadiesoaba Parking Yard

Operators of intercity transport company; VIP Jeoun, are experiencing one of their leanest seasons as passenger volumes drop due the coronavirus pandemic.

From an average of 50 trips a day on the Accra-Kumasi route, five trips are now hardly accomplished.

Managers say patronage has reduced as public concern grows about health risk from travelling.

It comes as managers disinfect buses before every journey as part of measures to prevent spread of the disease.

VIP Terminal, until now, has been a busy place for travellers and hawkers who conduct brisk business.

But since Kumasi recorded cases of Covid-19 with some patients dying as a result, passenger traffic reduced.

Low traffic means coaches take longer hours to be loaded to full capacity.

Ten of coaches have been sitting idle at the Dadiesoaba parking yard of the company.

“On Wednesday we loaded only three buses heading towards Accra. On average, on a daily basis, we load about 50 buses but it seems the turnout is low now because everybody is sceptical.

“Everybody is trying to see the way forward so it has affected the business significantly,” Professor Lukemond Owusu Ansah, Director of Finance and Strategy at VIP Jeoun Transport Services said.

Amid the current situation, the company has introduced measures to protect the travelling public against coronavirus.

Significant among them is the ban on eating on the bus.

Authorities want passengers to take advantage of 15-minutes stopover  at rest stops to have a snack.

“There are people who want to eat fried eggs, Indomie onboard the bus. I appeal to them to stop.

“We have also educated our drivers and their mates (conductors) to stop people from the habit,” Ato Mensah, Finance officer of VIP Transport Services said.

He said they have instituted handwashing and use of hand sanitisers to complement the disinfection of buses before they set off on every journey.

Passengers go through strict hand washing on their way to buy tickets and before they board the bus.

The VIP authorities said they spray all their buses but also spray any bus before it embarks on a journey.