Bus and Taxi drivers in Kabwe say in spite of Government’s decision to reduce fuel prices they will not reduce fares on local routes because transport business is not only dependent on fuel but many other factors.
But Kabwe district commissioner Patrick Chishala insisted that fares must be reduced so that ordinary people can benefit.
Bus and Taxi Drivers Association of Zambia (BTDAZ) vice chairperson Boniface Suntile said in as much as his organisation appreciated Government’s decision to reduce fuel there were still many other challenges which made transport business difficult particularly in Kabwe where local fares have remained unchanged for a long time.
He said the cost of spares in Kabwe was very high and it would not be economical to base the fares on fuel pump prices alone.
Mr Suntile maintained that if other sectors such as spare part dealers considered reducing prices, then that would trickle down to the commuters.
A check by the Daily Nation revealed that taxi and minibus drivers had still maintained old fares and were waiting for directives from the owners.
Mr Suntile said it would not make any sense to reduce fares when some routes in Kabwe still charged as little as K2.50 and K3.00.
He however said he was negotiating with prominent inter-town transporters such as CV and Expressline Transport companies which were charging K40.00 between Lusaka and Kabwe to consider making a reduction of K5.00.
Two weeks ago, the District Commissioner Mr Chishala directed that bus and taxi fares be reduced because Government had drastically reduced the prices of fuel.
Mr. Chishala was speaking after a meeting held with representatives of bus drivers and some operators.
Last year, Government reduced the prices of fuel following falling crude oil prices on the world market.
The reduction ignited a lot of excitement from commuters who looked forward to fares being reduced.