Gaborone — Public transport fares will increase with effect from September 1.
According to the Government Gazette published on Tuesday, public fares for shared taxis will be P6, combis P5 and special taxi P29 per trip.
The notice further says long-distance for gravel and sandy road will be 33 thebe per km while for bitumen road will be 30 thebe per km respectively.
However, the adjustments have received different reactions from both the public and transport operators.
Mr Kesentse Kgotlaetsile, a taxi operator, said in an interview that the increase would hit hard on the already depressed disposable incomes of workers who depend on taxis and combis for daily commuting.
He said customers were already complaining of low remuneration and pleaded with both government and the private sector to increase workers' salaries.
Another operator, who preferred anonymity, said the changes did not bring anything positive since some business entities were closed resulting in fewer events and less movement of people.
A bus operator for the Gaborone/Tsabong route, Mr Warona Sejeso expressed happiness with the new fares would be of great assistance to them.
He said the higher transport fares coupled with the recent decrease in fuel prices would enable them to make some profit.
However, another cab operator Mr Keletso Gabotwesepe said he was more worried about unlawful transport operators.
The adjustments would make a difference if unlicensed operators were absent, he said.
For their part passengers did not share the same sentiments with operators saying the increase was too much.
Ms Keaobaka Dirame, a student at Limkokwing University said the P5 and P6 increase was a bit steep.
She said the cost of living was already too high for students who only had an allowance to survive on.
Operators should also maintain and service their vehicles as most of them were in a bad state, she said.
She was also against the practice where four passengers were often forced to squeeze into a seat meant for three.
Source : BOPA