By Kemeseng Sanneh (Kexx)
The Ministry of Transport in collaboration with the Gambia Transport Union (GTU) on Tuesday embarked on an exercise to ensure the implementation of the new tariffs route licensing at Brikama, Westfield, and Coastal Road.
The union and the ministry have put strict measures in place to arrest any driver found violating new traffic routes and both institutions were on the traffic to restrict drivers from overcharging for a single destination.
They started monitoring the drivers coming from Brikama to Westfield or Serekunda and Coastal Road to affirm whether the drivers are following the new policy.
The president of the transport union, Omar Ceesay, said many drivers are complying with the new traffic routes, but he was quick to add that some drivers are still not adhering to the new policy.
He further revealed that passengers are making the work difficult for them by aiding the drivers that are not complying with the new policy.
“I call on the public to work together with us to achieve this goal,” he said.
The new policy came into effect when the transport ministry released a dispatch on 16th January 2023, informing the public that following consultations among various stakeholders, an agreement has been reached to increase the transport fares for all official routes across the country, effective 20th January 2023.
But in the same vein, the dispatch indicated that an agreement has been reached to adopt a new tariff for the transportation of containers across the country.
According to the transport ministry, the gesture is in fulfillment of the agreement reached with the Gambia Transport Union (GTU) and the Port Transporters Association as a condition for the implementation of transport fare increment and the new tariff route licensing for various destinations across the country.
Route licensing is a scheme that allows vehicles to register and ply a particular route and the main objective of introducing a route licensing scheme is to eliminate the charging of double or triple fares for various destinations.
The transport ministry and drivers’ union have provided stickers and permits issued to vehicles plying various routes within the Greater Banjul Area. It is expected that the scheme will be rolled out to all other routes within the country in due course.
The GTU management said information was communicated to all heads of Car Parks and they urged them to ensure that drivers adhere to the principles guiding route licensing.