Transport nightmare

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The issues of commuting to and from work and indeed all other forms of travel have become a nightmare in the Gambia. The transport sector is indeed facing serious challenges in the country.

The first major problem that commuters face is the issue of inadequacy of roads. There are not enough roads in the country and as such traffic congestions have become the order of the day. Commuters spend hours on the road just to travel a short distance and that is frustrating.

The second major problem faced by commuters on a daily basis is the issue of fares. The Gambia Transport Union in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport has put together a list of tariffs to and from different points in the Gambia but it seems many citizens, particularly the drivers, are not satisfied with those tariffs.

The third difficulty, and perhaps the most annoying, is the behavior of drivers on the roads. Because many of them are dissatisfied with the tariffs, they have now unilaterally decided to come up with their own tariffs which is causing a lot of difficulties to commuters.

Drivers will now divide the trip in two or three portions collecting fares for each of these distances. Thus, from Westfield they will say that they are going to Latrikunda; from where they will now load for Tabokoto and from thence; they will load to Coastal Road. This means that instead of eight dalasis (which is in the government tariff) they now collect twenty-four dalasis.

It has become necessary for the Government to put mechanisms in place to resolve this problem. Government should seek the assistance of development partners to construct more roads in strategic locations to ease the congestion problem.

In addition, a bus service should be introduced to transport workers to and from work. Finally, measures should be taken to arrive at an understanding between the drivers and the government in order to ease the suffering of the citizens.