Over a month since their launch, the Waka Fine buses have become a welcome sight on the streets of Freetown, easing the daily commute for many residents.

The initiative, funded by the World Bank and the Government of Sierra Leone, aims to improve public transportation, address climate change, and enhance road safety in the city.

The $52 million project has brought 49 new 70-seat buses to Freetown, offering a reliable and affordable alternative to the previously crowded and often unreliable transportation options.

Civil servant Memunatu Dumbuya is one of many who have benefitted from the Waka Fine buses. “Getting to and from work used to be a struggle,” told News24. “Now, the buses take me close to my office, and the price is reasonable. It’s made life much easier.”

James Tamba Aruna, a resident of Lumley, echoes Dumbuya’s sentiments. “The Waka Fine buses are a fantastic initiative,” he exclaims. “They’ve drastically reduced the transportation woes we faced daily. The cost is significantly lower than what I used to spend, and the commute time is much shorter.”

While the impact within Freetown has been positive, the program has also sparked calls for expansion. Mariatu Kabba, a resident of Waterloo, pleads for similar services in her community. “The Waka Fine buses are a great idea,” she says. “But many of us in Waterloo, who work in Freetown, still face daily transportation struggles. Extending the service would be a huge relief for our community.”

The success of the Waka Fine buses in their first month highlights the need for continued investment in public transportation. With hopes for expansion and long-term sustainability, the initiative has the potential to transform Freetown’s transportation landscape, making it more efficient, affordable, and environmentally friendly.