NDOLA BUS OPERATORS FIGHT RUNNING BATTLES WITH POLICE OVER REDUCED BUS FARES AS RTSA IS SET TO MEET OPERATORS THIS AFTERNOON
By Tinkerbel Mwila

Bus operators in Ndola District on the Copperbelt have fought running battles with police after they protested over the recently reduced bus fares as announced by the Road Transport and Safety Agency.

The aggrieved bus operators who have since downed tools blocked traffic at Mulungushi and Chisokone bus stations to stop any bus from leaving the stations while buses between Kitwe and Luanshya are also not loading in protest of the K7 downward adjustment on inter-mine/peri-urban routes.

Following the recent reduction of fuel pump prices by the energy regulation board which has resulted in the reduction of bus fares between K5 and K7, the bus operators are not happy with this move and are proposing a reduction of about K2.50 unlike a K5 which they say is too high.

The operators later become unruly after Transport and Logistics Minister Frank Tayali tried to address them and started throwing stones.

And those talked to by Phoenix News are demanding that authorities allow them to maintain the current fares or have the recently announced fared reduced by a minimal amount.

And Transport Minister Frank Tayali said he has noted the concerns of the bus operators which he says will be addressed.

Meanwhile, Road Transport and Safety Agency Head-Public Relations Fredrick Mubanga says the recently announced bus fares still stand but has disclosed that the agency will engage the operators this afternoon on the forward over the bus fares.
PHOENIX NEWS

5 COMMENTS

  1. Please remind our bus operators and their drivers that Public Transport Business is a Privilege and not a right! That privilege can be withdrawn should they continue to push their lack too far.
    Rioting and disturbing public peace remains a primitive approach to airing your grievances!
    Present your business case first! Government is able to work out a win-win situation for you. For example, it can reduce Council fees to cushion your operations! The worst you can do is to mistreat your customers! Pay attention to Your License conditions. Don’t you know that you exist because of your customers?
    Should government decide to phase you out, please don’t say government is bad!
    Remember, Public Transport Business is a Privilege and not a Right!

    • Very true, the bus operators do not own the bus stations and have no right to baricate it. If anything those operators who feel they can not work with new fares, let them pack their bus and allow those willing to continue working, they should not force every operator to reject the decision to reduce the fares because of their greed.

  2. There is need to communicate right to the grass roots so that there is buy in when decisions are being made.

    Working in reverse should not be an appropriate way of negotiations. This type of disruption of much needed transportation systems is unnecessary.

    Thoroughly engage with the entire transport business partners and ensue everyone is on board. Then announce these types of changes. This is disappointing.

  3. These people are just too greedy. But I also think think the problem was that government was allowing the bus operators to effect big increments on the fares whenever fuel increased and now these people don’t want to let go of their windfall profits they have been enjoying. O would advise government that next time there is fuel increment government should not allow any increase which goes beyond maintaining their profit margins.

  4. Economists have warned that a monthly review of fuel prices does not provide for predictability of the business operating environment. The change in prices of fuel month-in and month-out like a flipping yo-yo does not take into account the cost of spares for these public service buses that have to be met with income derived from bus fares. You just cannot have a situation where the reduction in bus fares is more than that in fuel and expect bus operators to tag along. How does government expect bus operators to continue to be in business if the cost of running business is more than their profit?

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