Commercial drivers in Monrovia and its suburbs have reportedly increased transportation fares following government's recent restriction to minimize the number of passengers riding on vehicles.
On Friday, taxi drivers were observed charging over L$125 from Red-light to central Monrovia, L$200 from Monrovia to Harbel, and L$100 from Broad Street to ELWA Junction. The drivers have also increased the fare from ELWA Junction to Buchanan from L$400 to L$600.
According to some drivers at ELWA Junction, the decision to overcharge passengers is intended to cover up for the number of passengers being eliminated from the normal capacity of their vehicle as a result of the restriction.
The regular capacity of a taxi cab is six persons, including the driver. But the restriction is said to have reduced the number to five, which the drivers said resulted to a loss if they should charge passengers the normal fare amidst the high price of gasoline.
The Government of Liberia recently announced series of preventive measures in the fight against the deadly Ebola virus which has claimed over one hundred lives in Liberia.
The Government's decision to decrease the number of passengers riding in vehicles is intended to prevent the spread of the virus which the World Health Organization (WHO) says is spread rapidly by bodily contact with infected person.