State-owned Intercity State Transport Company (ISTC) has secured a US$13million four-year credit facility from the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) to acquire 100 new coaches this year, as it seeks to expand its operations with new terminals at Madina and Kasoa.
Managing Director of the company, Nana Akomea, told B&FT that the company secured the loan facility purely on its balance sheet and plans to use the new buses to increase its market share with the new terminals, which will also become operational this year.
“With our new terminals, we need new buses to service them. The coaches will be coming in tranches,” he said.
Nana Akomea explained that since he assumed leadership of the company, average monthly revenues have jumped significantly – from GH¢2.3million in October 2016 to GH¢5.2million currently.
He believes that the introduction of new terminals with new luxury coaches will significantly increase revenues and market share, thereby restoring STC to its leadership position in the road transport business.
“What we are interested in now is maximising our revenues by taking the service to the people; and with that we can increase our market share. Before we went to Kwame Nkrumah Circle, we were doing just about four trips from Accra to Kumasi and another four in return on a daily basis.
“At Circle now we are doing 17, and in return we are doing about 14. In total, we are doing about 30 trips on the Accra-Kumasi-Accra route. When we go to Madina and Kasoa, this year, we can be doing 15 trips from each terminal on a daily basis to Kumasi and the same in return. We are interested in maximising our potential and revenues.
“If there are people in Madina who need to go to Kumasi, how many of them want to come all the way to Circle? They would rather make do with what is there, and when we take our luxury coaches with our service, brand and reliability, you can imagine how popular that will be. We will go there and give them the service, and that is the focus,” he said.
Touching more on the Circle terminal, Mr. Akomea said the company is turning the terminal into a state-of-the-art one with the tarring of the place, erecting a wall and putting in a beautiful passenger reception facility including washrooms.
The MD added that after operationisation of the Madina and Kasoa terminals, the company will shift its focus to two other major transport hubs: Pokuase and Ashaiman.
“The idea is to take STC away from the traditional stations to where the market is. Next year we go to Pokuase and Ashaiman, and those places – especially Ashaiman – require about 40 buses to service Aflao, Ho, Kumasi, Takoradi and Tamale. We keep receiving letters from communities to establish stations, and those that make good business cases – such as Techiman and Sunyani – will be moved into,” he added.
He pointed out that the company is always looking at customer satisfaction, therefore STC is currently reviewing its cabin service to make it more affordable. “There is a review of the total customer service: from receiving the customer till he or she gets to the destination.”