Commuters’ celebration following news of transport fare reductions were short lived as they found themselves stranded at bus stops Friday morning because, combi, bus and taxi drivers had decided to park their vehicles in protest.
Scores of commuters reported late for work while others missed appointments Friday morning because of a bus, combi and taxi operators’ stay away in a bid to force government not to cut fares.
The Ministry of Works and Transport decided last week to reduce transport fares after petrol prices that had sourced to an all time high of P6.94 a liter fell to P5.94 per liter.
Combi operators complain that the transport takings are not enough to go round adequate pay for conductors, drivers and family upkeep.
A combi operator who preferred to be referred to only as Phenyo says he owns two mini-buses but even at the current fares has not been able to afford to pay his workers a decent salary and keep some for his family’s upkeep.
He told Sunday Standard that he has to pay the drivers as well as the conductors and service his vehicles too and this he says does not come cheap.
This week drivers’ associations advised drivers to down keys until government decided to reverse its decision to cut transport fares.
Even after the fare reduction announcement was made, most transport operator continued to charge old fares saying they had not been properly informed.