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Dar residents urge Sumatra to reject proposed fare hike

24th May 2012
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Sumatra public affairs manager David Mziray

 

A cross section of Dar es Salaam residents have called on the Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority to reject the proposal to increase commuter bus fares by 150 percent, saying it will increase the burden on low income people.

The calls come in the wake of a SUMATRA stakeholder meeting today to debate on the proposed increment submitted by Cordial Transport Services.

According to the proposal Cordial Transport Services is seeking a 150 percent increase in fares due to high operational costs.

If the proposal is endorsed by Sumatra, passengers who now pay 300/- will have to part with 750/-. Students will have to pay 375/- instead of the150/- they pay currently.

A Mwenge resident, Juma Ali opposed the proposed fare hike, saying it will be an extra burden for the people who are already spending more due to the inflationary situation, while wages have remained low.

Rose John, a resident of Buguruni Mapipa said the proposed increase of 150 percent is not justifiable, given the poor state of transport services in the country.

“It should be well known that the value for money is about the quality of services provided,” she said.

Tom Mbala from Sinza said the quality of services for most commuter buses were poor questioning the justification for increasing the fare. “Drivers are rough and conductors do not know how to handle their customers in a proper manner. All these must be taken into consideration when considering the proposal for the new fares,” he said.

He pointed that if the fares were increased for him will be required to pay 1,500/- everyday for riding to and from work, compared to the previous 600/-.

Mbala called on Sumatra not only to reject the proposal, but also penalise commuter bus owners who will increase fares illegally.

Sumatra Public Affairs Manager, David Mziray confirmed that the authority had received an application from Cordial Transport Services; it will be debated before the final decision is made.

He further stressed that operators are not allowed to introduce any new fares without the knowledge and approval of the authority.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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