Government has directed public transport operators countrywide to reduce fares following the reduction in fuel prices.
Minister of Transport, Works Supply and Communications Yamfwa Mukanga said transport operators should not resist reducing fares as it is only fair and logical.
The Minister told journalists in an interview in Livingstone that public transporters always seek to increase fares when there is an upward adjustment in fuel prices but fail to adjust downwards when petroleum prices drop.
“I don’t know why transport operators are hesitant in reducing the transport fares and yet fuel has been reduced,” he said.
He said the high transport costs have a negative impact on pricing of essential commodities.
Mr Mukanga said it is only fair for transporters to reduce fares to enable the public benefit.
“I want to see the transport cost go down so that our people can benefit. Why should people be paying the same fares when fuel prices have dropped? Public transport operators should state the reason why people should continue paying these high transport costs,” he said.
He urged transporters to be honest and reasonably reduce fares.
Mr Mukanga disclosed that he will soon meet all operators to chart the way forward on the matter.
Last month the Energy Regulation Board announced a reduction in the pump price of fuel. Petrol is now K7.60 from K9.89 per litre, Diesel is pegged at K6.59 from K9.18 per litre while Paraffin costs K4.69 from K7.49 per litre.