The government has raised concern about long distance public bus operators not issuing receipts to passengers. This has resulted in overcharging of customers as they do not have proof of payment.
In an interview with Sunday Standard, Division of Transport Promotion and Control Principal Transport Officer Doris Bosche said that some bus operators indicated that their businesses were not economically viable, which made them not to buy receipt.
Bosche said that long distance operation is defined for routes longer than 22.5km and emphasized the importance of receipts needed as proof of payment.
“This issuance of receipts is a necessity for a transparent pricing system,” said Bosche. She stated that receipts are important for customers for refund purposes and as proof of overcharging by the operator.
She revealed that children under the age of 5 years travel for free.
“At the ages between 5 and 12 years, children pay half price whether the child occupies a seat or not,” said Bosche.
She stated that on long distance routes, payment is the same whether a passenger travels standing up or sitted.
Bosche stated that the Department of Roads Transport and Safety (DRTS) monitors this exercise through the Inspection Division, mounting road blocks and spot checks on various roads countrywide.
“We do request receipt books from operators to monitor their services,” said Bosche.
The Road Transport (Permits) Act, Section 17 (3) states that, “Every fare-paying passenger shall receive a ticket or receipt in respect of fare paid,”
And Regulation 18 of the Road Transport (Permits) Act Regulation states that any person authorized to receive fares from passengers or intending passengers shall forthwith issue to each passenger a ticket.
This year, there has been a rise in Transport Services section index. It was mainly due to an increase in Minibus and taxi fares by 9.4 percent while long distance bus fares increased from 16.86 thebe to 18.55 thebe per kilometer with effect from 1st September.