May 16, 2008, 8:42 AM
There are few who could argue that the latest increase in the cost of taxi fares, which is due to take effect on 11 July 2013, is unfair.
Drivers are facing extremely high costs in rendering transportation services and if they are to cover their costs, make ends meet and feed their families then the increase is justifiable.
However, while we very well understand the circumstances leading to the increment, including the current high oil prices, the matter needs further consultation in order to address the overall situation.
The consultation we are talking about here hinges on the fact that, in The Gambia it has now become a norm that when prices are increased, as a result of the market forces, they are hardly reduced or reversed after the situation gets stable or normalised.
To us, this is unfair, and the government must put in place all necessary measures to ensure that any time fuel price goes down, authorities should also ensure the GNTCA reduces fares to the previous rates.
As at now, the only advice we have for the commuters is to cooperate with drivers to ensure a smooth drive of the socio-economic order.
Another issue of concern is about coins change that drivers and apprentices continue to struggle to get to give to passengers. We urge the apprentices to always carry with them enough coins, to avoid unnecessary delays or confrontation with their passengers.
We also subscribe to the call by members of the public that salaries or transport allowances be increased to commensurate with the current inflation in the country and the transport fares increment.
We strongly believe that such measures will create a balanced situation for all concerned.
Also with this latest increase in taxi fares, drivers should now stop the habit of playing double games to the detriment of passengers.
Some drivers are still fond of taking passengers, for instance, from Tabokoto heading towards Banjul, telling them they are stopping at Westfield.
And upon arriving there, the driver would ask if they wanted to continue to Banjul. If that is so, then the passengers should pay another fare.
This is indeed unacceptable and should not be tolerated.
The police should take note of this bad practice of our commercial drivers.
“Having a little inflation is like being a little pregnant.”