Gov’t Adjusts Transportation Fares

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Minister Wlue (right) along with Deputy Minister Kollie at the press conference in Monrovia

In the wake of the high prices of petroleum products in Liberia, the government has released a new transportation fare structure for Monrovia and its environs.

Currently, gas is sold at LD$540 while diesel (fuel) is LD$550 in Monrovia and its environs.

Deputy Transport Minister for Land and Rail, J. Darious Kollie, at a news conference over the weekend in Monrovia, said there has been serious public outcry against transportation fares, and he was delighted to announce the new fare structure.

“It is because of the government’s sensitivity to the plight of the people and in line with our statutory mandate that technicians of the both ministries have been holding series of meetings aimed at arriving at an acceptable fare structure initially for Monrovia and its environs,” Minister Kollie said.

Minister Kollie said efforts were underway to holistically address the transportation fares nationwide, including further reduction, if need be.

He said taxi drivers who violate the new fare structure will be fined US$100 for the first time, while bus drivers will be fined US$100, stating: “Taxi drivers that violate for the second time will be fined US$200 and bus drivers US$400.

“The Liberia National Police has received a copy of the fare structure and we count on them to enforce it. We also hope that drivers will cooperate with this new fare regulation,” Minister Kollie said.

“We are not only looking at the prices of petroleum products on the market, but also what is paid for spare parts, including tires,” Minister Kollie said.

According to him, authorities of Transport and Commerce also met with the transport union, which is in support of the government’s decision before making a final decision.

He said Broad Street to ELWA junction is now LD$60, Broad Street to Red-Light is LD$80, Broad Street to New Georgia junction is LD$40, Broad Street to Barnesville junction LD$60.

The reduction in transport fares has, however, brought serious discontent to commercial drivers, with some calling on the government to reduce the prices of petroleum products on the Liberian market.

“The reduction in transport fares is in the interest of passengers, and not the drivers, because of the prices of petroleum products. We cannot buy gas for LD$540 and take LD$40 from a passenger from Broad Street to New Georgia junction,” Jeremy Sheriff, who is a commercial driver, said.

Mr. Sheriff however welcomed government’s decision but has called for a serious reduction in petroleum products, which will afford drivers the opportunity to earn something.

Meanwhile, taxi drivers over the weekend insisted on charging passengers heavily, before Monday, when the Government-regulated fares would take effect.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. In wake of the constant tension over “high” taxis fares, has anybody ever bother to ask if these thugs at the Ministry of Transportation know what they are doing??

    With yet another announcement of “New Fare Structure” (code words for price controls), I for one think that constant government intervention in the transportation business is the number one cause of all this tension and confusion.

    So why can’t our government do away with its market intervention policies (“new fares structure”) and let the price mechanism perform its most important function, which is, equating demand to supply??

    The predictable result of these “new fares structures” (price controls) are long lines (shortage of taxis and buses), tension and violence.

    But despite such disastrous history of price controls, the thugs at the Ministry of Transportation can never stop announcing “new fares structure”. So what does that say about their learning abilities??

  2. I most often like to include/view a situation from a mathematical or scientific point of view before including other relevant parameters. Does MoT technicians and/or engineers have data on the average fuel consumption per gallon(Miles per gallon [MPG]) for a given distance per vehicle ( different vehicle make and models have different engines and or consumption rates per mile ) ? This decision puts high consumption vehicles owners in a position of disadvantage as well.

    Did they weigh (perform a profitibility analysis from the drivers/owners perspective) the reduction in fuel prices against consumption of vehicles old and new, large and small? MoT should keep in mind that many vehicles in circulation in the country are in effect have various form of engine defect (not that I condone this, but this is the reality) that could contribute to higher consumption of fuel ? Did they consider that many vehicle owners pay drivers a fix amount ( the drivers might not likely accept salary reduction due to reduced transport and this might put some “strain and stress” on vehicle owner) and that this might cause a strike situation if the owners can’t afford to pay the drivers ?

    I am all for the reduction for transportation fare , don’t get me wrong, but I think the government should solve this problem by investing much more money and resources in the public transport sector. This is bound to “bounce back” !

    Some car owners could circumvent this by doing “out of town” trips creating a traffic caos in Monrovia. Please focus on fixing the economy and people will afford to pay!

  3. Hey people!
    Price structure is not a bad thing. However, it needs to be fare to all consumers.
    The Taxi fares will reduce so will the price of gas. The taxis need gas to operate and make profit. The gas stations need to operate and make profit too. So, in order to be fare to all, this situation needs to be looked at very thoroughly to come up with a plan that would make sense to all. We should not make Rash Decisions that would cause problems for the economy.

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