By Olimatou Coker
The Ministry of Transport has announced that it has reached an agreement with stakeholders to increase transport fares for all official routes across the country, taking effect from Friday, 20th January 2023.
A statement from the ministry further said an agreement has also been reached to adopt a new tariff for the transportation of containers across the country, in fulfillment of a deal reached between the General Transport Union and the Port Transporters Association. The Ministry however did not give any details as to the nature of the fare increment or the new tariff.
“However, as a condition for the implementation of the fare increment and the new tariffs, route licensing will be introduced for various destinations across the country. This is a scheme that allows vehicles to register and ply a particular route,” the Ministry said.
It also added that the main objective of introducing a route licensing scheme is to eliminate the charging of double or triple fares for various destinations. “Already, the stickers and permits have been issued to vehicles plying various routes within the Greater Banjul Area and it is expected that the scheme will be rolled out to all other routes within the country in due course.
In light of the foregoing, the Transport Union and heads of car parks are urged to ensure that drivers adhere to the principles guiding route licensing. It is anticipated that as the government fulfilled its promise in increasing tariffs, we expect the Union and its members to also fulfill their commitment as per the Communiqué signed in September 2022.
The Ministry would like to categorically state that doubling or tripling fares will no longer be tolerated in the road transport industry. Failure to comply with the new route licensing scheme by the transporters will result in taking necessary actions. Transporters and all stakeholders are urged to comply with these processes,” the statement concluded.
Also speaking to The Standard, Omar Ceesay, president of the Gambia Transport Union, said they will continue to work with the government and the police force to normalize all issues affecting the transport sector and people in general.
He assured the public that they will work and collaborate with all the garage committees and attendants to see that drivers take passengers up to their final destinations, so that double fares can be a thing of the past.
Ceesay urged the police to collaborate with the Transport Union and the Government in implementing any agreement reached.