Regrettably, after a dramatic decrease in the pump price of gasoline in Monrovia, transport fares continue to soar again and hardship at the hands of commercial drivers nationwide.
Early this week, Monrovia’s commuters and other end users of public transport vehicles at the three embarking stations by were seen stranded.
They were being stranded due to the continuous hike in transport fares by commercial drivers and other public service transport providers in several parts of Monrovia and its environs.
The angry and stranded commuters told the Daily Observer Wednesday that despite the considerable reduction of the pump price of petroleum products, commercial drivers remain defiant.
The stranded commuters also explained that owing to the lack of the practical enforcement strategies by the Ministries of Commerce and Industry and Transport, commercial drivers continue to celebrate with the hike in transport fares.
Though Monrovia’s population has dramatically dropped owing to the deadly Ebola virus spread, other essential staff of public and private functioning entities continue to face the unpleasant music of transport fares hike.
Sadly, commercial drivers and other public service transport providers on many occasions told the Daily Observer that traffic police officers are in their pockets and the commuters will continue to endure the hardships in Monrovia.
The affected commuters also pointed out that they encounter on several occasions bitter and open confrontations with commercial drivers on the issue of transport fares in Monrovia and its environs.
As a result of the the deadly Ebola virus in the country, commercial drivers observing the financial constraints being faced by Liberians, have chosen path of exploitation through the hike in transport fares.
The affected commuters also intimated that such actions on the part of commercial drivers could be described adding more miseries and hardship on financially stressed citizens and residents of Monrovia and its environs.
The Ebola-weary commuters also indicated that if the current trend continues with the transport fares, the financial hardship will force Liberians into violent confrontations.
In separate interviews with the Daily Observer Wednesday, the affected commuters called for the urgent intervention of the Commerce and Industry and Transport Ministries to address the hike in transport fares.
Affected commuter Joseph B. Philips pointed out that despite the issuance of the transport fares, drivers have refused to consider the adjustments in many parts of Monrovia.
“I think traffic police officers must graduate from accepting the small tokens of appreciation by commercial drivers and enforce the approved transport fares in Monrovia and its environs,” Mr. Philips asserted.
A Red Light Market woman, Madam Elizabeth B. Akoiwala, reacting to the transport fare hike, described the actions of the commercial drivers as unacceptable and counterproductive.
Madam Akoiwala underscored the urgent need for the MOCI and MOT officials to act now and deal with the transport hike issue in Monrovia and other parts of the country.
In a sharp reaction, some commercial drivers contended that there are expenses associated with the maintenance of their vehicles in Monrovia and other parts of the country.
Commercial driver Benjamin B. Sackie told the Daily Observer that they spend lot of money to settle with “one dozen laws and regulations crafted by the traffic police of the country.