Just a week in 2014, transportation fare has risen again in the commercial city of Ganta, Nimba County. It has left many passengers stranded while others have been forced to make their way in the backs of trucks and trailers.
At the Monrovia parking in Ganta more than 100 passengers were seen stranded as a result of the high fares.
One passenger, Sam Lloyd, said, “We were asked to pay L$1,500 (18.50USD at 80L$ to one US$) from Ganta to Monrovia. The amount is too much so we are finding it very difficult to move from one place to another.”
The distance from Ganta to Monrovia is a little over 250km and the road is very deplorable.
A dispatcher at the Monrovia Parking in Ganta who only identified himself as Dioh, disputed the passengers’ claims saying drivers were charging between L$900 to 950 from Ganta to Monrovia owing to the high cost of petroleum products on the market and the increase in exchange rate between the US and Liberia dollars.
“We spent all of yesterday trying to get a car and still have not found one up until now,” said a lady, who boarded the back of a truck, at the Total Filling Station.
Many drivers are blaming the increased transport fares on the shortage of gasoline on the market, yet, nearly all filling stations in Ganta seemed to be open and selling gasoline at the price of L$385 (US$4.85) per one US gallon.
“The price of gasoline has risen from L$365 to L$385, that is why, the transportation cost was increased,” Dioh added.
This past Christmas and New Year season there were four National Transit Authority buses running in Ganta to ease the transport problem. This year the number of buses seems to have reduced to two.
Transportation costs from Ganta to other parts of Nimba have also increased from the regular fares.