Commuters react to increment in fares

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Commuters in the Greater Banjul Area have reacted to the recent increment in transport fares as a result of the recent surge in the price of diesel liter in the country.

The recent fare increment, which came into being last Monday, saw transport fares returning to their previous amounts across the country. This is the second time the price of pump fuel has increased in less than a month.

It would be recalled that, the price of fuel has risen since October 2017 and as a result the diesel price jumped from D52.40 to D53.33.

However, the recent increase of transport fares back to its normal price has stirred mix reactions among drivers and commuters.

 In an interview with The Point, a staff of The Gambia Transport Union, who wants to remain anonymous, said that the price of fuel has increased since, but they just want to abide by the new tariff announced by government.

While some drivers welcomed the new tariffs others believe the new transport tariffs should be fixed at a reasonable amount so that the frequent changes in the price of fuel does not in any way affect both the drivers and passengers.

One Baboucarr Saidy, a taxi driver said he cannot understand why people are complaining about the new tariff, saying the price of fuel has jumped up over seven months without them complaining.

This recent increment in transports fares, he added, doesn’t even favour them but they just have to accept it with good faith. According to him, as at now, if a driver goes to buy fuel from the patrol station, it would seems like he has been cheated by the petrol staff, which is as a result of the high cost liter of fuel.

He explained that some of them who are working for people and as such their patrons would think that they are cheating them.

Gibril Saidykhan, another taxi driver, said that  the one-dalasi addition on fares, don’t still favour them,  as it seems this was discussed long time that fares should be increased to just D1.

He explained that with the recent increment, they as drivers can now have something for their families compared with the previous price of D7, which they usually find difficult to cope with.

Saidykhan thus appealed to The Gambia government to help in reducing the pump of diesel fuel.

Yusupha Njie, a passenger called on drivers to show some remorse towards their work in the interest of the nation and not for their own interest.

“Drivers will always like to collect two or three fares from passengers when coming from Banjul to Brikama. I believe that with this increment drivers should now be taking passengers coming from direct Brikama or Banjul without collecting two fares from passengers” he said.

Sally Darboe, a concerned passenger, said that she doesn’t see anything wrong with the increment of transport fares, saying for her the increment is good as D7 and D8 is almost the same.

She urged the government to help in controlling the price of pump fuel so that fare increment should not be on the constant rise.

Author: Arfang M.S. Camara