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Fare increases effective today

Apr 4, 2011, 1:38 PM | Article By: Lamin B. Darboe

The Gambia National Transport Control Association (GNTCA) has announced that with effect from today that all commercial transport fares will increase across the country.

With the new tariff, Banjul-Tabokotoo will now be D12 as oppose to D10 the previous rate, while Banjul-Bakau which used to D6 is now D8. In the same vein, Banjul-Serrekunda-Tallinding and Buffer Zone which used to be D8 is now D10.

In the new tariff, Banjul-Basse which was D220 will now be D225 while Banjul-Soma will now be D105 as opposed to D100 previously. Taxes in Banjul are now D7 and not D6 while Banjul-Brikama which was D17 official price will now be D20.

People travelling within Serrekunda and Gunjur will now be paying D20 and no more D18 while Sere kunda-Bakau will be D7 instead of D6. Barra-Farafenni which was D75 is now D80 while Barra-Amdalaye is now D25 and no more D23.

As a result of this development, our reporter went round to some public car parks within the Greater Banjul Area to talk to some customers, commercial drivers and chief car park officers.

When he went to BS car park in Serekunda, the chief car park officer, Ebrima Manga, said the taxi fare increase is not what they prefer to do, but with situation worldwide, people have to accept it in good faith.

"When the vehicles are full and about to depart, we will also inform the passengers about the increase, while they are onboard the vehicle to avoid any misunderstanding," he said.

Samba Sanyang another chief car park officer also in Serekunda, for taxi plying between Serrekunda and Bakau, said they have also started informing passengers about the increase to avoid disputes.

"As a result of the high increase in fuel at the world market, for three times, this is why at our own level here in The Gambia it seriously affecting us too, and I'm calling on our esteem customers to bear with us, since this is beyond our control," Sanyang said.

Pap Salieu Jai, a member of the Gambia National Transport Union and also a driver at Senegambia car park at Tipper Garage also lamented the high fuel prices at the world market.

He said some of drivers were already being given a list of the new tariff, to show to their passengers when the need arises.

A passenger by th name Lamin Touray said he travels from Brusubi to Bakau for work every day, and that the increase came at a wrong time when both civil servants and private sector salaries are meager. He said that not everybody can afford to pay fares of this nature daily, because of the cost of living nowadays.

"Let there be a fair level playing field when it comes to the increment of fares in the country," he stressed.

A  passenger, who   wants to remain anonymous, said he does ply from Brikama to Serekunda, and that now with the increase in transport fares he would find it difficult to reach his workplace on time.

He called on the Government to see how best they can address the situation.

"If the present new transport tariff cannot be reduced, let the salaries be increased to meet the new transport costs, if not we will end up suffering," he said.