Friday, September 18, 2020

Fuel Prices, Drivers, Passengers And Covid-19

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The current fuel prices are as follows: Petrol price has been reduced from forty-nine dalasi and thirty six bututs to forty dalasi per litre. That of diesel has been reduced from fifty dalasi and four bututs per litre to 43 dalasi per litre.

Drivers demanded a reduction in petrol prices due to the halving of the number of passengers they are licensed to carry. Experts have informed Foroyaa that transports with normal engines consume one litre of petrol every eleven kilometres. We will try to confirm this information by doing a vox pop among drivers and mechanics. Based on the preliminary information received, fuel consumption for travelling from Banjul to Serrekunda would amount to less than 1.2 litres. This would cost 48 dalasi to 51 dalasi in fuel consumption per trip depending on whether the transport consumes petrol or diesel.

The State has regulated the fares due to COVID-19. The drivers did initially protest against loss of earnings due to the regulation of fares in the face of reduced number of passengers.

Now that the state has responded by reducing prices, the unions should engage in a cost benefit analysis to determine fair sums to be charged as fares which should be reflected in amended regulations. The threat of COVID-19 should lead to a change of attitude and the building of a sense of shared destiny. Social protection first and self- interest second. That is the dictum to serve and save our common humanity.

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