Academic journal article Theoretical and Empirical Researches in Urban Management

An Assessment of the Quality of Intra-Urban Bus Services in the City of Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria

Academic journal article Theoretical and Empirical Researches in Urban Management

An Assessment of the Quality of Intra-Urban Bus Services in the City of Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria

Article excerpt

1. INTRODUCTION

Transport is important for the survival of modern society and without it there would be no life in the city (Onokala, 2001). As an essential service in urban centres, transport enables people, firms and other organizations to carry out their activities at sites selected for these purposes in separate locations in the cities. Transport provides a key to the understanding and operation of many other systems at many different scales and is an epitome of the complex relationships between social and political activities and the level of economic development (Buchannan, 1969; Hoyle and Smith, 1992).

In Nigeria, the pace of urbanization has been dramatic showing extraordinarily high rates of 5-10 percent per annum (Egunjobi, 1999; Ogunsanya, 2002). Consequently, there has been rapid expansion of Nigerian cities' areal extent, which is now tenfold their initial point of growth (Oyesiku, 2002a). A critical aspect of this is that city growth and expansion in Nigeria has been largely uncontrolled (Olarewaju, 2004). One of the major functions of the spatial structure of any human settlement is to facilitate the movement of people and goods within the settlement (Mabogunje, 2008).

Public transportation systems provide the most efficient means of moving large number of people especially in density populated urban centres. In addition to the well being of its users, public transport plays a vital role in the productivity of cities which in turn has a direct bearing on the national economies (World Bank, 2001; Lyndon and Todd, 2006). Public transportation by definition connotes the act or the means of conveying large number of people "en masse" as opposed to conveyance in individual vehicles carrying very few people at a time. In other words, public transport or mass transit is a system in which a greater number of people are moved at a time along principal corridors (Ogbazi, 1992, Wikipedia, 2009). Public transport or mass transit comprises mainly of the rail system, light rail system, tram ways and monorails, bus system and where possible water transportation (Wikipedia, 2009).

Today, experiences show a need for a greater variety of public transport modes, but buses are choice of a majority of the communities and are the only means of mobility that can be afforded by the poor in developing countries of the World (Armstrong-Wright, 1993). The choice of any or a combination of the public transportation systems enumerated above could be influenced by population and area/size of the city, their transportation demand and characteristics and land use pattern. Given our level of technological development, the bus system is chosen in this work. The bus system is the transportation system that uses buses that may have a range of passenger capacities and performance characteristics, and may operate on fixed routes with fixed schedules, or may be flexibly routed (Smerk, 1974).

Bus system is the dominant mode of motoried transport in Third World cities such as the city of Enugu. Bus also called Ominibus is any of a class of large self propelled wheeled vehicles that is designed to carry passengers generally on fixed routes. Because of low incomes for the majority inhabitants in the cities of developing countries, buses provide the only mode of transport that they can afford (Armstrong-Wright, 1993). Bus system has the potential of being used as a policy tool to reduce the number of cars on urban roads and so reduce traffic chaos in the city. It has also the potential of extending transportation services to a greater proportion of urban residents who do not have private cars, and cannot afford frequent taxis fares (Andeleeb et al., 2007). These are "captive bus riders. The bus riders seek a convenient ride between their points of origin and destination. They do not wish to walk very far to their bus stops having arrived at the bus stop; they do not wish to wait very long time (Faulks, 1990). …

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