Hike in public transport fares

12 July 2018 | Local News

Along with a planned increase of 50% for taxi fares, municipal bus fees went up on Monday.

The taxi fare increase planned by the Namibian Transport and Taxi Union (NTTU), will see commuters paying a minimum of N$15 per trip. According the union they will implement the increase irrespective of whether the Ministry of Works and Transport approves it or not.

Taxi users are not happy about the possible increase, as some feel the fares should remain affordable during the current tough economic times. Students who make use of taxis are especially not pleased with the increase.



HARD HIT

A student from Unam, Kaylene Izaaks, said they now have to enlarge and stretch their budgets to be able to afford the taxi services. “Students use taxi services a lot. For some of us it is our only means of transport. It is unfair because we do not have that kind of money all the time. They should think about the students who move to Windhoek and do not live close to the hostel,” Izaaks said.

Claire van Wyk, who makes use of taxis every day to get to work, says the high increase is not justified, as salaries stay the same but expenses increase. “Now I have to spend more to get to work and home every day. I already pay N$20 each day just to get work, plus N$10 to get home. I know the taxi drivers deserve to be paid a little more, but a 50% increase is just too high,” she said.

Soraya van Wyk, another daily taxi user, says she understands why they want to increase their fares, but that 50% is too much and that they should consider their customers. “It is unfair towards us as customers, as we will not be able to afford taking a taxi and it will increase our daily expenses.”

NTTU president Werner Januarie said to Nampa earlier that the union has put a strategy in place to implement the price increase. He said the union's members have requested a meeting for 15 July to decide on the increment and to implement it on 1 September. “Apart from the fuel increase, the economy is tough now and we are equally affected by it, hence the decision to take this matter in our own hands,” Januarie said.

The last taxi fare increase was in 2014 when the Namibian Bus and Taxi Association increased the fare from N$9 to N$10 after government's approval.



BUS FARE INCREASE

Along with the planned taxi fare increases, the City of Windhoek announced an increase in bus fares which were implemented on Monday, 9 July. Smart card holders now pay N$6.50 per trip, while cash paying customers will have to fork out N$7.50 per trip.

The municipality said increase comes after a hike in Namibian fuel prices.

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