RTSA to suspend road service licence of transporters hiking fares illegally

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The Road Traffic and Safety Agency (RATSA) has threatened to suspend road service licences for bus operators who have allegedly implemented hiked bus fares without following laid down procedure.

RATSA Executive Director Zindaba Soko said the agency will not hesitate to suspend road service licences for bus operators who have decided to disregard the law.

Mr. Soko told ZANIS in Lusaka today that bus operators were fully aware of the procedure that should be followed before implementing bus fare hikes since this was not the first time transport charges are being adjusted in the country.

He further explained that representatives of a group of luxury buses operators has written to the agency requesting for an adjustment of bus fares by today, 6th  May 2013.

He said these were advised to wait for feedback from the agency.

Mr. Soko also said the agency has not refused to accord an upward adjustment in bus fares saying a concrete date for the desired increase can only be communicated after discussions have been concluded by all concerned stakeholders including the Ministry of Transport, Communications, Works and Supply.

He disclosed that the agency will today meet all bus operators and stakeholders to discuss the way forward regarding bus fare increment.

And Public and Private Drivers Association of Zambia president Josiah Majuru said local bus operators were still waiting for further instruction from government before they can implement the hiked fares.

Meanwhile, Lusaka Bus Operators Association chairperson Ismail Kankara said his members have abided to government’s directive and will wait for the outcome from a meeting that will be held today between government and transport stakeholders.

Yesterday, some long distance luxury bus operators allegedly hiked bus fares despite warnings from government that it will be illegal for anyone to effect the hiked fares.

The decision to adjust bus fares upwards was necessitated by the increase of about KR1.65 per litre of fuel last week.