The Public and Private Drivers Association of Zambia says the recent upward adjustment of bus fares was necessary for the sector to thrive.
In an interview, Association President Josiah Mujuru said the sector was slowly becoming unsustainable following an upward fuel adjustment by the Energy Regulation Board.
“You know as our association, Public and Private Drivers Association of Zambia, we are the ones who are on the ground with the people, who feel the impact of the reduction of fuel or the increament of fuel. There was a recent fuel increment, and we said it was minimal, that’s why we didn’t increase the fares, and we did not agree with the increment, so this one, came again and we looked at the difference now, and we said how do we cushion the difference because we are in business. If we don’t we will end up suffocating ourselves and other stakeholders, then we will run down the sector. So its about understanding one another, where we say if we increase too much, our commuters will be affected, if we increase just a little, then our commuters will be comfortable that is what we have done basically. And normally when you look at the fares, its just on paper that we have increased, if you go on the ground, people are operating on a very reduced fare, very reduced. Where people are supposed to pay K10, they are paying K6, K7. Where they are supposed to pay K4 its now a trend, they are now paying K3, so it’s a give a take situation,” said Mujuru.
“If you look at most of the products they have gone up, so it was going to be a damage to the bus sector if we did not adjust a bit. It’s a bit, we have not increased to a level where people will be very affected. And more over it may not even work because people are used to negotiating. You can only charge those fares during peak hours, but this time you can’t you will even carry a person who has a K2 because you don’t want to go empty, that how it.”