Gambia: Drivers resist fare reduction

Gambia: Drivers resist fare reduction

Gambian drivers gainsaying a decision by the country’s transportation authority to lower fares across the country, a decision that the drivers union say is unfavorable.

Gambia’s Transport Ministry announced this week that fares will be lowered by 15 percent, that will see transportation cost for commuters being the cheapest in nearly a decade.

Mustapha Jobe, the leader of the Gambia Transport Union said Thursday that talks with authorities to lower fares were ongoing, accusing the government of making a rushed decision.

Drivers have expressed dismay at the decision and are demanding that the Transport Ministry reverses it and resume fresh talks.

Gambian authorities said transport fares were reduced because fuel prices have been lowered since 2013 but the ex-government did not make any moves to reflect that in commuter fares.

The new government is trying to lower the cost of basic services and goods as the country’s economy starts to wobbly stand strong after decades of financial mismanagement.

Jobe said, however, the price of fuel is not the only factor in determining the price of fares. The sudden decrease they say will affect their wages and dwindle profits, which he says has to be considered.

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