Hundreds of Monrovia commuters have begun asking the Ministry of Transport (MOT), where are transport Inspectors?
Early last week, the Ministries of Transport and Commerce and Industry (MOCI) announced the deployment of Transport Inspectors to monitor transport fares in Monrovia.
In a three-hour encounter with commuters on Monday at several points in Monrovia, commuters claimed that MOT’s Inspectors have not been seen.
As a result, commercial drivers have increased transport fares for all destinations.
It is not known whether the MOT and MOCI have developed some mechanisms that could monitor activities of Transport Inspectors in Monrovia and its environs.
At the various bus stations and other taxi cab parking areas, intense arguments took place between commuters and commercial bus drivers.
Some commuters alleged that they were charged LD100 instead of LD60 from Red-light Market in Paynesville to Broad Street. Others charge LD80.
“We continue to remain perpetual victims at the hands of some commercial and other transport service providers in Monrovia and its environs,” commuter Thomas Hansen Diggs lamented.
In exclusive interviews with the Daily Observer at the corner of Broad and Buchanan Streets, Diggs insisted that efforts to enforce approved transport fares must claim the attention of the Ministry of Transport.
Mrs. Elizabeth B. Davis, 55, at the corner of Randall and Broad Streets pointed out that MOT needs strong measures to ensure compliance.
According to Lawrence B. Smith, 64, of Duala General Market on Bushrod Island in Monrovia, since the weekend he had not seen any of MOT’s Transport Inspectors at bus stations.
“I want MOT and MOCI representatives, especially the Assistant Ministers and directors, to come and see things for themselves at our bus and parking stations,” Mrs. Davis said.
When contacted, the Director of the Transport Inspectorate Division, Joseph K. Roberts, explained that the MOT has withdrawn the inspectors due to the uncooperative attitude of police officers to effect arrest and enforcement.
Director Roberts explained that the MOT cannot place its inspectors at risk when the LNP has the responsibility to enforce transport fare regulations.
He also disclosed that a communication has been submitted to his bosses for their intervention and that of the LNP’s Director General, Col. Chris Massaquoi.
For their part, LNP officers at some bus stations and street corners, who asked not to be named, on Tuesday categorically denied the MOT inspectors’ claim that police officers are not cooperating.