8 August 2014

Liberia: Several Decry Hike in Transportation Fare - Want Gov't Set New Price Tag

Several Liberians have called on the Government of Liberia (GoL) to set a new price tag for transportation, as police continue the enforcement of the vehicle traffic law of Liberia.

It can be recalled that the LNP on Thursday, July 31, 2014 began the enforcement of Section 10.152 of the motor vehicle and traffic law of the Republic of Liberia in a bid to help contain the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.

Among other things, Section 10.152 of the vehicle and traffic law of Liberia states that a taxi cab is allowed to carry one passenger in the front along with the driver and three passengers in the back. For bus, one passenger in the front along with the driver and three or four passengers on each seat depending on the type of the bus.

However, since the enforcement of this law began barely a week ago, there has been huge rise in transportation fare.

The fare from Broad Street, in Monrovia to Red Light, in Paynesville, which used to be L$70 in taxi, now cost between L$ 100 and L$125, something which has made it difficult for the "commoners" to move about their daily hustles.

In a chat with this paper, several Liberians called on GoL through the Ministries of Transport and Commerce and Industry to set a new price tag that will be enforce by the police.

"Now that government wants to ensure the enforcement of this vehicle and traffic law, there is also a need for to set a new price tag that would be very realistic. We, the ordinary people are suffering.

The drivers just go about charging any how anyhow, and no one questions them, simply because there is no standard price on the book that they supposed to go by. Everyone has his own price," said one Prince Kollie, a marketer at the Red Light Market in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.

"The way things are going is too bad. We are totally living in hell with this transportation business. Government really needs to step in quickly," noted Teta Cole, an elderly woman who sells charcoal at the Rally Town Market in Monrovia.

Like Prince and "Ma Teta," several other persons have also expressed their own disappointment over the hike in transportation fare, and they too, want the GoL to step in quickly.

The LNP through its Spokesman, Mr. Sam Collins, in a brief chat with this paper said police is willing to also enforce whatsoever price that would be released by the government.

"As you know, our duty is to enforce and maintain law and order, and not to set prices of things, because we are not cloth with that responsibility.

Now that we are enforcing this vehicle and traffic law, we look up to the Ministries of Commerce and Industry and Transport to set a new price tag, and we will enforce it," he among other things, added.

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