Nov 11, 2010, 12:25 PM
Getting around town has been difficult for some time now, and it’s bound to be much more difficult as the feast of Tobaski approaches.
Those who commute to
It’s more nightmarish at both Serekunda and the Cooperative Bus stop. There’s usually a milling mass of people, who jostle one another just to board a bus. People have to wait for hours on end to board a bus. In the resultant scramble, pickpockets have a field day.
Most drivers have no qualms about exploiting the situation. Sometimes, people who commute from Brikama to
Buses leaving directly from Brikama for
That is if he or she is lucky. Sometimes, the journey between Westfield Junction and
How did things get to this pretty pass? Some blame it on scarcity of buses, while others blame it on the rural-urban drift that has swelled the population of the Greater Banjul Area.
Whatever the cause, we fear that things are really going to be rough at this time of the year, as most people will be travelling to the provinces to celebrate the Tobaski.
Already, drivers are warming up for a kill. And touts are also waiting anxiously to make a pile out of poor commuters.
With the touts, they take up a seat in a bus to give the impression that it’s already occupied. Once they see passengers jostling one another for seats, they throw in their gambit. If the fare is say twenty dalasis, they add say ten dalasis on top. If the demand is high, they might even raise it a bit further.
If you pay, you have a seat, but if you don’t, you have to wait in the sun for a day or so before you could be lucky to get to your destination.
For most passengers, who are eager to join families and friends in the gaiety of the Tobaski, no expense is spared. They don’t really care whether or not they’re fleeced. While they get poorer, the touts get richer, so to speak.
This is a serious problem that shouldn’t be brushed aside. In a way, we can’t blame the drivers because the law of demand and supply governs business. That’s why the relevant authorities shouldn’t hesitate to make movement to and from the provinces during the Tobaski a lot easier for commuters.
But even at that, would we be asking for too much if we request our drivers to temper the law of demand and supply with the benevolence of the Tobaski?
“The fear of one evil often leads us into a greater one.”