No bus fare hikes yet, says Majuru

PUBLIC Private Drivers Association of Zambia says it would be premature for bus operators to adjust bus fares owing to yesterday’s fuel price hikes. PPDA president Josiah Majuru said drivers should not be too excited with the recent fuel price increase and adjust bus fares without following the laid down procedure of doing so. He said they have received reports that some drivers have effected new fares to the surprised of commuters in the absence of a new fare chart. “Public service drivers must exercise patience and allow operators and all stakeholders to sit down and address the issue of fares for a mutual agreement. What we want is a smooth flow of the consultative process in arriving at the way forward,” he said. He said while the increase in fuel pump prices had an automatic effect on commodity pricing, there was need for stakeholders in various industries, including transport to engage the Government for a more viable increment that did not disadvantage any parties especially the commuter. Mr Majuru has, however, explained that some bus drivers had knocked off 50 ngwees from actual fares, which they have since brought back following the fuel price hike, hence raising speculation that they have increased fares and yet not. He said it was important for the commuters to coorperate and understand the changes expected in a few days’ time, but that until Monday, they should not expect any significant changes to the bus fares for local commuters and long distance travelers. The Government through the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) yesterday announced a fuel pump price increment with Petrol going to K13.70 from the previous K9.87 per litre with diesel now selling at K11.40 from K8.59 and kerosene, K8.03 from K6.12.