The Bus and Taxi Drivers Association of Zambia has assured commuters that there will be no further upward adjustment in bus fares following the proposal by the government to increase road tax by 10 percent.
The Road Transport and Safety Agency have announced the proposed 10 percent increment in road tax.
But Association National Secretary Sidney Mbewe said despite the proposed increment, bus fares are mainly increased when fuel pump prices are adjusted upwards.
Mr. Mbewe has however noted that the proposed increment in road tax will increase operational costs for the transport business.
He has since appealed to the government to consider incentivizing the public transport sector to cushion it against increased operational costs.
Last week, the Zambia Consumers Association (ZACA) had expressed disappointment on the decision taken by the Government through the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) to effect Bus fares hike without inclusive consultation.
ZACA Executive secretary Zuba Sakala said despite his Association writing to Ministry of Transport and logistics permanent secretary and RTSA expressing concerns on how the issue has been handled, the two offices ignored the letter and went ahead to increase bus fares.
Mr Sakala said while the Association is not against the increment per say, the adjustment should have been done in a transparent manner without leaving out stakeholders such as the Commuters Right Association of Zambia and the Zambia Consumer Association.
“We wrote to the two offices to express our concerns on how the meeting was held and proposed another meeting but all was ignored and they have gone ahead effecting new fares which is unfortunate,” he said.
Mr Sakala said the new government should be transparent in the manner they handle issues in the public transport subsector to avoid suspicions.
He said the situation where other stakeholders are used as a rubber stamp or ignored should come to an end if the country is to move in unison for national development.