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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

SUMATRA: Form companies or perish

9th January 2011

Owners of up-country and commuter buses were yesterday given a one year ultimatum to reconstitute themselves into companies, cooperatives or institutions under which they will register to operate.

The resolve to that end was reached during two separate meetings on Thursday and Friday in Dar es Salaam - the first of which brought together owners of up-country buses and the second was for owners of commuter buses popularly known in Dar es Salaam as Dala Dala.

Speaking to this newspaper in an interview after the two meetings in Dar es Salaam yesterday, the Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority (SUMATRA) Director General, Israel Sekirasa, said they had resolved to restrict licenses to companies, cooperatives or institutions so that services rendered were identified with recognized entities.

On request by the bus owners calling for hiking of fares in the aftermath of ballooned cost of vehicles and expenses such as operational and maintenance cost, DG Sekirasa said the proposals would be forwarded to experts to scrutinise and determine remedial measures if they called for fare increase.

On increased cost figures submitted by the buses operators, the SUMATRA DG said, the presented costs would be passed over to experts for determination with a view to getting a proper formula and methods used while at the same time being mindful of the consumer interest.

There were many issues that hindered smooth transport, be it in urban areas as well as in some up-country regions, hence the need to take into account such factors and their impact of wear and tear on vehicles.

He said Sumatra and other authorities would ensure that the matter is resolved on a win-win situation among parties involved in the transport sector.

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