Uproar…as bus fares go up again
THE increase in bus fares has sparked an uproar among commuters who are now accusing Government of being insensitive.
Bus fares on all Lusaka routes have been increased by an average of K2 and commuters have not received the adjustment kindly as they complain that life has become more difficult and unbearable.
Some commuters talked to complained that the increase in the bus fares were effected before the official announcement from bus operators and that bus drivers had been harassing passengers to pay the new fares from Tuesday.
Recently, Government through the Energy Regulation Board adjusted the pump price for petrol and diesel upwards at an average of K2 which has effectively translated into fares being increased.
But Commuters Rights Association president Aaron Kamuti said, the association has welcomed the new bus fares considering that fuel prices have continued to go up.
He has however demanded that operators should ensure that the new fares were actualized as there has been a tendency of bus drivers manipulating prices and harassing commuters.
The Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA), has increased bus fares all all routes in Lusaka by an average of K2.
Mukela Mangolwa, the RTSA head of public relations says, the adjustment was in pursuant to section 108 (11) of the Road Traffic Act Number 11 of 2002.
Mr Mwangolwa says, the adjustment had come in the awake of the fuel pump price increment by K2.73 per litre for petrol and K2.81 per litre for diesel.
He said RTSA had adjusted intercity long distance by 5 percent.
He says, the bus fare for Lusaka pri urban has been adjusted by K2, for Lusaka local and other towns has been adjusted by K1.
Mr Mangolwa said the bus fare for Copperbelt and other towns has been adjusted by K1 and inter mine and peri urban by K1.
Meanwhile Bus and Taxi Owners Association has welcomed the new bus fares as agreed by stakeholders.
Association National Chairperson Sydney Chewe said, k1 increment for Local routes and K2 for peri urban routes was economic for both commuters and bus owners.
He explained that the association had no problem with the increment as it was favorable for all stakeholders especially amidst increased fuel pump prices.