Daladala lower fare due to lack of coins

DAR ES SALAAM: SOME rickshaws and commuter bus operators in Dar es Salaam are forced to charge below the regulator’s ceiling fare of 600/- for short routes due to lack of coins change.

The Daily News spot survey showed that some commuters and rickshaws charged 500/- for shorter routes giving up 100/- especially when commuters pay fares using banknotes.

The fare-reducing trend is common especially in the evening despite being peak hours as most commuters are returning home.

However, the survey also observed the trend in the morning in some short routes is now becoming a common tendency.

It seems like 500/- is enough to generate profit for the operators and 600/- is overcharging the commuters.

The daladala operators are usually required to give the bus owner between 150,000/- and 350,000/- a day, depending on the vehicle seating capacity and route.

The survey showed that for a daladala plying between Mbagala-Mbezi (Kimara) owners take between 300,000/- and 350,000/-. This is one of the longest routes.

The route top fare is 1,200/-. The 500/- is experienced in numerous places including Tabata, Buguruni, Tandika, and Ubungo, and happens a few times in the morning but mostly in the evening.

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Additionally, the survey showed that the commuters are enjoying the fare drop promotion while it last.

Mr Kassim Juma, a tricycle operator parking at Mwembe Yanga in Temeke said he forego between 300/- and 400/- in two trips from three to four passengers between morning and afternoon.

“It happens mostly in the morning trips where customers give money that needs a coin change and at that time it is hard to get them,” he said.

Additionally, Mr Omary Tembo, conductor of a bus routing from Yombo to Mnazi Mmoja said he often encounters the same situation mostly in the morning hour where passengers who drop before the end of the route give between 1,000/- and 10,000/- .

“For instance, a person gets on a bus from Bakhresa bus station in the Tazara area and he or she gives you 2,000/- and drops at Rosana bus station (in Buguruni). Hence, I usually give back 1,500/- instead of 1,400/- ,” said Mr Tembo.

He added that customers who pay 10,000/- and travel short distances, are usually dropped off without charging them anything since he has no change.

As for the Ubungo to Buguruni route, most of daladala operators take 500/- from the riverside to the Buguruni filling station, especially in the evening.

Also, the same was noticed between Buguruni kwa Madenge via Vingunguti to Tabata Chang’ombe and Tabatamataa to Segerea.

While Segerea-Kinyerezi conductors are struggling to return coins change and mostly are taking 500/- instead of 600/-.

A commuter, Leonard Joseph said “It’s very common for a conductor to ask for 100/- or 200/- to returns 500/-. And, if one doesn’t have, he just returns 500/-.”

Despite foregoing a 100/- or 200/- for short or medium routes, conductors are not complaining about failing to collect the owner’s amount per day and their taking home.

“Despite all these, the daladala operators’ life hasn’t changed. Maybe the fares in Dar es Salaam are higher compared to the running costs,” Mr Joseph said.

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