23 March 2014

Liberia: Fare Is Foul in Bong, Passengers Stranded Over Transport Hike

Gbarnga — Passengers traveling to Monrovia from Gbarnga are stranded in different loading parks, following a sharp increase in transportation fares. The over 10 percent increase in transport fares has forced some of the passengers travelling to Monrovia to return to their homes as they could not afford the new fares.

An investigation conducted by FrontPageAfrica revealed that those most affected were passengers in Gbarnga and other districts in the county. It was gathered that before Decoration Day, motorists paid between LD 500 and LD 550 but the fare was increased to LD 650 excluding charges on luggage no matter how light the luggage.

A passenger that gave her name as Sarah lamented that she could not make her journey from Gbarnga to Monrovia on Friday as a result of the hike in transport fare.

She said: "I had to go back to my village because of the high increase of transport fare. Can you imagine that before the holiday, we used to pay LD$500 from Gbarnga to Monrovia in Taxis, but when I got to the parking spot; they were charging LD$650 to Monrovia.

"Some of us could not afford that amount, you know we have spent all we had for the holiday, we pleaded with them, but nobody was ready to listen, I will have to go back to my village so that I can look for money."

The stranded passenger said her surprise was that there was no increase in the price of petrol and that the Police had stopped harassing drivers on the road.

"I think it's just wickedness. The Government did not increase gasoline price, Police are not disturbing drivers on the road, why should people be so wicked, especially in Gbarnga?

"I will appeal to government to look into this next time because people are suffering. If there is no increase in fuel, the government should make sure that transporters did not increase fares," she said.

Efforts made to talk to the Ministry of Transport Bong County chapter were rebuffed as those contacted could not explain why the transport fares were increased.

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