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Friday, September 30, 2022

Bus operators in Ndola fight running battles with police over new fares

General News Bus operators in Ndola fight running battles with police over new...

Bus operators in Ndola District on the Copperbelt have fought running battles with police after they protested over the recently reduced bus fares as announced by the Road Transport and Safety Agency.

The aggrieved bus operators who have since downed tools blocked traffic at Mulungushi and Chisokone bus stations to stop any bus from leaving the stations while buses between Kitwe and Luanshya are also not loading in protest of the K7 downward adjustment on inter-mine/peri-urban routes.

Following the recent reduction of fuel pump prices by the energy regulation board which has resulted in the reduction of bus fares between K5 and K7, the bus operators are not happy with this move and are proposing a reduction of about K2.50 unlike a K5 which they say is too high.

The operators later become unruly after Transport and Logistics Minister Frank Tayali tried to address them and started throwing stones.

And those talked to by Phoenix News are demanding that authorities allow them to maintain the current fares or have the recently announced fared reduced by a minimal amount.

And Transport Minister Frank Tayali said he has noted the concerns of the bus operators which he says will be addressed.

Road Transport and Safety Agency Head-Public Relations Fredrick Mubanga says the recently announced bus fares still stand but has disclosed that the agency will engage the operators this afternoon on the forward over the bus fares.

Earlier, Bus operators defied the recent reduction in bus fares and have continued implementing the old bus fares saying the new fares are not in the best interest of their business.

A check by Phoenix News at various bus stations in Lusaka has revealed that passengers are still paying the old fares as bus operators are rejecting any amount that reflects the newly approved fares.

Some bus operators have wondered how bus fares have been reduced by an excessive K5 which is not profitable on their part when fuel pump prices were reduced by about K3.

The operators have complained that the bus fares announced by the road transport and safety agency and the current fuel prices are not in harmony as reducing fares will be loss making on their part and have since appealed to relevant authorities to reconsider the revised fares.

Meanwhile some commuters talked to have confirmed that they are still paying the old fares, and are calling on the authorities to quickly deal with the matter and strike a balance if possible for them to enjoy the benefits of reduced fuel prices.

Yesterday, Transport and Logistics Minister Frank Tayali said the revised bus fares are non-negotiable and called on relevant institutions to deal with those refusing to implement the new bus fares.

The Road Transport and Safety Agency has announced a reduction in bus fares owing to the drop in fuel pump prices, with intercity long distance reducing by 14 percent, copperbelt local and other towns reduced by K5, Lusaka local and other towns reduced by K5, while inter-mine and peri-urban saw a reduction of K7.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Not even a full year in power and there is already confusion in the country. The upnd have failed.they used poor people and lied to them to get votes. Now they have thrown you away like used cheap condoms. We warned you. Now your only option is to wait until 2026 to correct your mistakes

    6
    5
    • You are an *****. These are your PF Kaponyas, who like you think it to be their right to screw the people. What UPND needs to do is turn out the people, so that they can demonstrate to the Kaponyas, that those who support the new fair fares far outnumber these criminals who want to continue exploiting the people.

  2. Economists have warned before that a monthly review of fuel prices does not provide for predictability of the business operating environment. A three month review period would provide for more predictability given the volatility of the fuel price on the international market. PF had a six month review period whilst UPND has swung to the extreme of a one month review period. The change in prices of fuel month-in and month-out like a flipping yo-yo does not take into account the cost of spares and service for these public service buses that has not remained constant and has to be met with income derived from bus fares. You just cannot have a situation where the reduction in bus fares is more than that in fuel and expect bus operators to tag along. How does government expect bus operators to…

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