Commuters Decry Transport Challenges Amidst Fare Increment

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By Mariama Marong

The Government of the Gambia recently disclosed new tariffs for fares regarding commercial vehicles across the country. The new tariffs according to Government and Gambia Transport Union (GTU), comes with new regulations to address multiple payment of fares for a single journey by passengers.
According to the Transport Union President Omar Ceesay, all commercial vehicles will be tagged to identify their destinations for the ease of commuters, to avoid multiple payment of fares by passengers for a single trip.
However, despite the increment of fares, commuters still experience multiple fares charges for their destinations and it seems that the condition is getting worse than before.
Lamin Sanneh, a daily road user said both government and the Gambia Transport Union have failed them from promises they cannot fulfill.
“We were told that the new tariff on fares will ease our movement and will address the payment of multiple fares for a single journey. But this is far from the reality because we now pay more than what we used to, before their promises,” he said. He said not a single commercial vehicle has been tagged to identify their various destinations as indicated by the transport Union president Omar Ceesay President.
Mariama Jambang said people responsible for fare increment are not fair to commuters, because the challenges they face still persist.
“I am paying more fares now than before and the multiple fares payment for a single journey is still in motion. There is no agency or body looking into this matter and drivers especially van drivers, do what favours them and they are careless about passengers’ concerns,” she said.
Miss Jamba said government should have first ensured tags for vehicles for identification before coming up with new tariffs.
Adama Jarju, a resident of London Corner in Serekunda expressed similar concerns and said fare adjustment is to the detriment of passengers.

Muhammed Sillah, Musa Conteh and Jainaba Sambou, expressed similar concerns and urge the government to consider the interest of commuters when formulating policies. They called on Transport Union to provide tags for commercials vehicles as soon as possible and to stop misleading drivers.
Anonymous drivers who spoke to this reporter, said fuel is expensive and traffic is the country’s roads are congested, and said they cannot depend on past fares to make ends meet.