By Nelson Manneh
The president of the Gambia Transport Union, Omar Ceesay, told Foroyaa yesterday, 9th November that the proposed new tariff for transport fares circulating on social media is not yet applicable.
The union leader said in his office said his office that the proposed new tariff is meant for public consumption before it will be implemented.
“We didn’t inform any driver to implement the new fares tariff. We don’t even have a scheduled date when it should start. What we are doing is to show the public how the new tariff will look like,” he said.
Mr. Ceesay said his office is also working on modalities to make sure that the public is not victimized with the new tariff.
Many people who spoke to this reporter after seeing the new tariff on social media, alleged that the government is complicit of this sudden increment.
“The government is in support of the idea that is why there was scarcity of fuel in the past two weeks or so,” a member of the public remarked.
Muhammad Manjang, a teacher, alleged that commercial vehicle drivers are exploiting the public especially civil servants who cannot afford to buy their own vehicles
“This was the plan of the government; that is why there was scarcity of fuel. The government should think of increasing salaries too because it will be very unfair for someone to work for a whole month and spend your salary on fares,” he asserted.
“Government top officials don’t know what the private citizens are going through; that’s why they never find a solution to this long term transport saga.”
Fatou Hydara, a vendor at the Brikama market, said she lives in Kiti village and always comes to the Brikama market for her daily business.
“When I woke up in the morning I came up to the high way and one of the drivers told me that fares have been increased. I thought it was a joke. I came up to the market and I met my colleagues discussing it, then I said to myself this government is making life more difficult for poor people like me,” she added.
Madam Hydara said some drivers have already started implementing the new tariff which is not fair because it has not been officially declared by the authorities.
“The government should look at means of controlling some of these things. We are not saying fears should not be increased but it should be at the discretion of the authorities. In fact, the government should not leave the transport system with the private sector,” she said.
She suggested that the Government should provide vehicles with low fare charges, which is the only way out.
Foroyaa will continue to monitor the developments regarding the proposed new tariff as we await final decision.