Moshi — As the festive season comes to an end, travelling from the northern regions of Kilimanjaro and Arusha to Dar es Salaam was somewhat challenging yesterday as demand rose significantly.
To solve the problem, authorities were forced to grant permits to bus operators who normally undertake short trips to ferry travellers to their various destinations.
The situation was a replica of the days between December 20 and 24 in Dar es Salaam when there was a surge in demand for transport upcountry, particularly, the northern regions, as the festive season opened.
Given the high demand, some travellers had to part with more money to secure a seat.
Stakeholders now say more workable solutions should be employed.
Speaking to The Citizen yesterday, Ibra Line operator Ibrahim Shayo said that most mini buses granted with temporary licences for upcountry trips were not in good condition to make the long trips.
“These minibuses don’t have sufficient space, they are not comforatable for trallers to make long safaris. Sumatra (the authority) should rethink about this issue because the problem has remained unresolved,” said Mr Shayo.
He said recognising the need to ensure high quality of services, transport dealers for upcountry travels normally purchased long vehicles with high level of comfortability for passengers.
However, a principal officer with the Surface and marine Transport Regulatory Authority (Sumatra), Johns Makwale said they have been compelled to license Mini buses due to the problem of bus transport crisis during festival season.
“Although some people are complaining that coaster buses are uncomfortable for long journeys, they have remarkably helped to reduce the crisis during festivals,” said Mr Makwale.
One of the travellers based in Moshi, Mr Jonathan Ndimba, said that they had no option but to board the minibuses due to low supply of comfortable and long buses.
With high demand, travellers paid between Sh35,000 and Sh40,000 to buy a ticket from Moshi to Dar es Salaam. During normal days, the fares are between Sh28,000 and 32,000.
One of them, Ms Hadija Juma who is among the passengers from Dar es Salaam buying a ticket at Sh32,000, but he got a ticket recorded at a price of Sh32,000.
“When I came here early in the morning, I bought a ticket at Sh32,000, but it was written Sh28,500. But when I boarded a bus inspectors came to question the ticket agents who were ordered to return my money. The bus agents decided to cancel my journey after returning the money,” said Ms Hadija Juma.
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Publish date : 2019-01-03 14:08:56