By Buba Gagigo
The Ministry of Transport Works and Infrastructure, in a press release issued today, January 16, 2023, has announced that there will be an increase in transport fares along official routes in the Gambia effective January 20, 2023.
“The Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure wishes to inform the general public that following consultations among various stakeholders, an agreement has been reached to increase the transport fares for all official routes across the country effective 20 January 2023,” the ministry announced.
In the spirit of the same agreement, the ministry said an agreement has been reached to adopt a new tariff for the transportation of containers across the country.
The Transport, Works and Infrastructure ministry said the gesture is in fulfillment of the agreement reached with the General Transport Union and the Port Transporters Association.
The ministry outlined that as a condition for the implementation of transport fare increment and the new tariffs, route licensing will be introduced for various destinations across the country. Route licensing is a scheme that allows vehicles to register and ply a particular route.
“The main objective of introducing a route licensing scheme is to eliminate the charging of double or triple fares for various destinations. Already, the stickers and permits have been issued to vehicles plying various routes within the Greater Banjul Area. It is expected that the scheme will be rolled out to all other routes within the country in due course.
“In light of the foregoing, the Transport Union and heads of Car Parks are urged to ensure that drivers adhere to the principles guiding route licensing It is anticipated that the government fulfilled its promise in increasing tariffs. we expect the Union and its members to also fulfill their commitment as per the Communique signed in September 2022,” the ministry said.
The Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure also warned that doubling fares will never be allowed;
“The Ministry would like to categorically state that doubling or tripling fares will no longer be tolerated in the road transport industry. Failure to comply with the new route licensing scheme by the transporters will result in taking necessary actions. Transporters and all stakeholders are urged to comply with these processes