By Awa B. Bah
Drivers plying the Nemakunku, Missera, Latrikunda route, have refused to comply with the instructions of the authorities on the recent reductions in public transport fares. The drivers now ask for D10 instead of the new tariff of D7.
According to the apprentice in charge of the vehicle that brought this reporter from Nema to Latrikunda, anybody who cannot pay D10 need not to join his car. There was a big push and pull between him and some of the passengers who claim that the normal transport fare is D7.
Upon reaching the Latrikunda garage, this reporter consulted the ‘Chef De Garage’ on the issue but he replied that he cannot tell drivers to reduce fares since it was agreed between the drivers and the passengers. He said it was the decision of the drivers plying that route to increase fares from D8 to D10 for the past three months. He said the drivers took it upon themselves and increase the fares since the beginning of the raining season; that passengers have complied because they have no choice but to pay any amount laid down by the drivers.
He said there was a big issue between the drivers and passengers which was later settled at the Nemakunku police station but was quick to add that he did not know what was the agreement made at the police.
A driver who spoke to this reporter angrily said that any passenger entering his vehicle will pay D10 or he will not take you. He said the Nemakunku Missera Garage was not mentioned in the new tariff. Another driver said their garage is not part of the list and they will continue to ask for D10 as they have to go through lots of shortcuts due to the bad conditions of the road.
The passengers who spoke to this reporter dismiss the claim that it was agreed between the drivers and passengers; that they are paying D10 because they do not have another choice. They called on the authorities to intervene because the drivers have taken the law into their own hands.