Long distance commuters face another fare hike because bus operators are unhappy with the rate of increase granted recently.
The increase, which was introduced to the public by the Ministry of Transport on July 28th, stated that long distance buses traveling on bitumen roads will charge 18.58 thebe per kilometer while those traveling on sandy and gravel roads will now cost 20.55 thebe per kilometer effective immediately.
Long distance refers to any distance over 22 kilometers.
As it stands, the price hike is applicable to only those buses traveling 22 kilometers and more.
Tirafalo Mponang, the chairman of the Botswana Bus Association (BBA) said that although this increase is welcome and long overdue, it falls far too short of their expectations as an association.
“The initial agreement was that the new increases would put all buses at a state where the prices would be above 20 thebe per kilometer,” said Mponang.
Mponang revealed that they, as an association, had chosen a committee to work with the Ministry of Transport.
The quotations delivered to the minister recommended prices made by the committee for the hikes in bus, combis and taxi fares countrywide.
To their surprise, Mponang said, the awarded hike from the ministry was well below their expectation.
The chairman said that the assessment by the committee was made before the July 18 increase on diesel and petrol prices, thus they expected their initiatives to be reasonable considering the fact that they ignored some of the in-between increases of diesel even though it affected their case.
The association is to hold a general meeting with its members on the 7th of August to discuss the way forward and offer a full report on recent proceedings concerning the price hikes.