Commuters in the country have added their voice to what many believe was a ‘unilateral move’ by commercial drivers by increasing transport fares, while negotiation is underway between government, transport union and other stakeholders over transport fare.
The proposed increment in transport fares came following increase in fuel prices in the country as of 1st July 2022; the price of a litre of Petrol rose from D69.52 to D78.76, while the price of a litre of Diesel also increased from 64.78 to D73.78.
This ‘unilateral’ sharp increase in transports fares, according to some, even started days before Eid Al Adha prayers.
The fares from West field to Banjul, which used to be D15 for commercial vans and D25 for taxi, is now D50.
Some of the concerned commuters, who spoke to The Point, lamented the selfish nature of some drivers, saying this sharp increment of fares due to shortage of fuel cannot be justified.
Dembo Kujabi, a commuter, said the increment cannot be justified, saying it is way too much.
“Yes, the fuel has been increased but that cannot be a reason. The fuel is increased, but the increment has not doubled the price, but they have way more than doubled the fares.”
Another commuter, Ansumana Ceesay, lamented that since government doesn’t want to control the prices of goods and services in the country, ordinary Gambians would continue to be at the mercy of these people, who have no regard for what is right or wrong.
“All they care for is how to make profit, and they don’t care the impact it will have on the people.”
Bintou Faal, another commuter, urged government to intervene as soon as possible to address this unfortunate “emergency” to help travelers.
The fare increment, she added, would impact negatively on many people, as salaries and wages in The Gambia are very low and too little to even support workers.