The Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority (SUMATRA) has assured passengers travelling to up-country regions during this festive season that bus fares will not change.
Speaking to The Guardian in a telephone interview yesterday, Sumatra communications manager David Mziray said they had yet to decide on a recent proposal submitted by the Tanzania Bus Owners Association (TABOA) to hike fares.
“Passengers should not pay the new fares because they have not yet been approved…you shouldn’t be deceived by dishonest bus conductors or drivers,” he noted.
According to him, Sumatra has deployed officers in the bus termal whose duty is to monitor the conduct of bus operators, conductors and drivers to ensure they charge approved fares.
He said once the authority decides on the new fares, the public will be informed.
Reached for comment, Dar es Salaam City Council personnel director Hamada Selemani advised passengers not to buy tickets from touts but instead do so from booking offices.
Selemani blamed bus owners for using the touts while knowing they were prohibited from conducting services at the bus terminal.
He said the city council will work on the matter since it believes touts inconvenience passengers.
“Touts are a big problem at Ubungo bus terminal. We find it difficult to remove them because they are supported by the bus owners,” he noted.
On 28 November, this year, Taboa submitted a proposal to Sumatra requesting a 40 per cent fare hike, citing an increase in running costs.
Taboa secretary general Enea Mrutu said operational costs had increased while passengers are demanding quality services which bus owners couldn’t possibly offer.
However, Sumatra acting director general Tumaini Silaa warned bus owners not to increase fares before they were approved by the Authority.