By Awa B. Bah
Following the increase in the pump price of fuel in The Gambia, drivers are questioning when the tariff on fares will be increased to correspond to the increase in the pump price of fuel.
“I cannot pick four passengers from Tabokoto to Westfield for only D28, when the price of fuel increased from D42 to D45.55 per litre,” said one taxi driver.
This reporter visited some filling stations in the Greater Banjul Area to ascertain the pump price and discovered that the price of fuel has increased from D42 to D45.55 per litre.
The reporter continued to the Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure, to find out what was responsible for the increase in the pump price of fuel but the official she met, declined to comment, after confirmation that there has been an increase. The reason for fuel price increase in The Gambia, remains unknown. However, the drivers spoken to remark that they are working in order to take care of their families from they make at the end of every day.They said Government should not force commercial drivers to reduce fares when they are not doing anything with the poor roads drivers ply daily.
This reporter discovered that initially, the commercial drivers agreed to the new tariff but the funniest game is that taxi drivers as well as drivers plying to Brikama, have found a way to regain what they’ve lost, as a result of the fare reduction. The practice of the taxi drivers is that instead of loading from Tabokoto to Westfield for D7 per passenger, they now stop at Latrikunda and from there, they will announce that they are going to Churchill’s Town or Tallinding and finally to Westfield, collecting D21 instead of D7.
With regard to the drivers plying the Serrekunda-Brikama Highway, this reporter noticed that they will announce from Westfield that they are going to Tallinding and LatriKunda and from there, they will announce Brikama, collecting D22 instead of D15.
Most commuters who spoke to this reporter, have complained bitterly that they are suffering at the hands of drivers, simply because of the D1 and D3 that was reduced from the Tabokoto to Westfield and Westfield to Brikama fares respectively and called on Government to intervene urgently.