Apart from Monrovia, the rest of country is feeling the wrath of aggrieved drivers as Ministry of Transport’s reduced fares are only affecting Monrovia and its close environs.
A release outlining fares to various destinations from Broad Street noted that because of the reduction in the prices of gasoline and fuel on the local market, there is likewise a reduction in transport fares. The reduced cost of commuting has brought much appreciated relief to residents of Monrovia and surrounding areas who have for a long period suffered exploitation and disrespect from commercial drivers who have regularly made up their own fares.
The reduction, however, has brought serious discontent to commercial drivers causing many of them to park their vehicles perhaps until they see an upward adjustment in their interest.
As the decision stands in the interest of residents of Monrovia, it is presumably clear that drivers will divert their routes from the nation’s capital to other parts of the country where the reduced transport fares do not apply.
About two years back, the Press and Public Affairs officer of the Ministry of Transport justified high fares conceding that roads across the country were in deplorable condition, damaging vehicles and delaying drivers, businesspeople and passengers alike.
While terrible road conditions were indeed a good reason for higher fares at the time, the story is now changing as there are more paved roads and many others under construction.
The roads from ELWA junction to Harbel, Cotton Tree to Buchanan, Duala to Tubmanburg, and Clay to Bo Waterside are all in good condition with Cotton Tree-Buchanan road now the best in the country.
Vigorous construction work is ongoing along the Red-Light Ganta highway and most parts of that road are better now.
The above mentioned roads lead to parts of the country that are well known as the nation’s breadbaskets feeding the highly concentrated population of Monrovia.
Gasoline price now stands at LD$180.00 and diesel is LD$190. Passengers leaving ELWA junction to Buchanan pay LD$500.00 on a taxi and LD$350 on a bus on that well paved road.
A passenger without chargeable load pays LD$1,300.00 on a taxi and LD$800.00 on a bus except NTA bus that charges LD$400.00.
Leaving those areas vulnerable in transport fare adjustments would mean that commuters will face drivers’ misplaced aggression by paying higher fares to make up for the perceived losses encountered in Monrovia.
Perhaps the only solution for people in those vulnerable areas is the competition that may open to give travelers a minimal opportunity to choose which vehicle to ride.
But in spite of this, the disadvantage will be high as huge numbers of people travel to and from Monrovia to do business.