It was with open arms that commuters welcomed your government’s announcement that transport fares have been reduced across the country. This was after the government had consulted widely with the National Transport Union and, after the reduction of fuel prices. True, some drivers initially took the decision with some amount of exasperation and went to the extent of staging a protest.
Some drivers were even arrested after they disturbed the peace by attempting to prevent other drivers from plying the roads. These were then charged in court of law. Later, there seemed to be a resigned acceptance from the drivers as they realized that there wasn’t much they could do about it. There then followed an uneasy calm as passengers started paying the new tariff. Everyone was happy – or so it seemed.
Interestingly, it is now observed that the drivers – or many of them at least – did not genuinely accept the new tariffs. They had simply found a way of getting the same amount (as before) from commuters. The new modus operandi is that, from Westfield, drivers will proclaim that they are going to Latrikunda or Tallinding then collect the seven dalasis. There, they will proclaim Tabokoto and again collect another seven dalasis. Thus, they end up having more than what they used to collect before the reduction of fares.
So, we observe that sometimes some commuters have to enter into a lot of brawls with the apprentices which result in scuffles. This can be a cause of trouble on our roads which may result in violence and thus crimes may be committed.
Mr President, it is said that prevention is better than cure. Thus, your government should engage the drivers’ union with a view to finding a lasting solution to this problem. Times are hard and some commuters are finding it difficult to cope with the high cost of transport fares. People are pressed to put food on the table so, illegal extortion of money by drivers from them may – in some cases – lead to someone taking the law into their own hands. A hungry man, it is said, is an angry man.
Have a Good Day Mr President….
Tha Scribbler Bah
A Concerned Citizen