Transport operators have hailed Government’s move to reduce fuel pump prices but have hinted that they might not reduce fares because the transport sector in Zambia operates on depressed charges.
Public and Private Drivers Association of Zambia (PPDAZ) president Josaiah Majuru said as operators, they would soon call for a meeting to look at the possibility of bringing down bus fares, but that it would not be compulsory.
Mr Majuru said most bus fares across the country were charged at lower rates than what was officially reflected on the fare chart.
“But as you are aware, all bus fares countrywide operate on a reduced charges and not according to the fare chart.
“The current bus fares are not applicable on the ground because we operate on reduced charges everywhere,” he said.
Mr Majuru said with the expected reduction, some areas would not feel the bus fare reduction due to the already reduced charges they have been paying instead of the official charges.
He explained that some local routes were already paying lowered fares due to complications with change while in some other areas passengers have imposed negotiated fares as fixed rate.
And Mr Majuru has disclosed that the reduction has come at a very good time when businesses were realigning their operations for 2015.
“This is a good move indeed, and with that margin, it is expected that as operators we should find a way of bringing down bus fares to benefit the passengers.
“And by next week, we should call for a meeting to address the need to reduce bus fares so that we ensure the benefits flow down all the way to the secondary consumer, the passengers,” he said.
Energy Minster Christopher Yaluma yesterday announced that with effect from midnight today, fuel pump prices have been reduced by about 23 per cent with petrol dropping from K9.89 to K7.60 representing a reduction of K2.29, a percentage of 23.13 downwards.
The price of diesel and kerosene were now expected to be K6.59 and K4.69 from K9.18 and K6.77 representing a reduction of K2.59 and K2.08 respectively.
Motorists have cheered the fuel price reduction which reflected the global fuel prices on the international market which has continued to drop to below 50 percent per barrel since February 2014.