BY KAYODE ANIMASAUN
The Ondo state government has confirmed its intention to return free shuttle buses back to the streets for public school students in the state.
It was reported that stakeholders in the ministries of Education and that of Transport met on Thursday in Akure, the state capital to fashion out the workability of the planned return of free shuttle buses.
Confirming the meeting, the Permanent Secretary, ministry of transport in Ondo state, Pastor Kayode Ogundele told our correspondent that the plan was to return the free shuttle buses in the next academic session.
Ogundele said “That was what we have said at the meeting. At the stakeholders meeting, it was the consensus that the buses should begin operations. That was the decision and other issues that has to do with the operations of the buses were also discussed.
The essence of discussion at that meeting was to ensure that everyone is carried along and whatever that had been agreed upon at that meeting, we are only saying that people have agreed that it is imperative for the buses to start.
We will now convey all the decisions back to the appropriate authority for approval to go ahead.
From the discussions we had today, we are looking forward to the resumption of the schools for the new session.
That is the mandate they gave to us as an agency that we should work towards free shuttle buses commencing operations as soon as schools are resuming for the next session. ”
Former governor Olusegun Mimiko announced a Free Shuttle Ride scheme for all students in uniform in 2012.
The scheme started with the state’s share of the buses allocated to the state by the Federal Government as part of the measures to ameliorate the effects of the subsidy removal regime in the year.
The programme was continued by Akeredolu’s government since 2016 till 2019 when it was stopped.
The development has made students of public schools face difficulties going or coming from schools as major bus stops are always crowded after school hours.