– Over Transport Fare
By Jackson C. Clay, Jr.
It was a dramatic and fascinating scene on Capitol Hill, right at the back entrance of the Capitol Building the official seat of the legislative branch of government when a taxi driver and a passenger engaged into a fistfight over the transportation fares.
The incident which took place on Tuesday, August 14, 2018 was as a result of the passenger alleged refusal to pay the required price given him by the taxi driver upon boarding the taxi.
Speaking to this paper following the incident, the driver of the taxi, marked A213455 said he picked up this passenger from the ELWA junction to central town for the amount of LRD120.00 per-person and all of the passengers agreed and got on board the taxi.
The driver explained that he was surprised when this passenger got off his vehicle refusing to pay the agreed price, something which led into a fistfight just on the main car road.
“They all agreed when I said from ELWA junction to town was LRD120.00 only for me to bring him here and he is saying something else, you can ask all of the other passengers in here (in the car),” the driver who refused to call his name told our reporter.
For his part, passenger Emmanuel Duanah admitted that though the driver told him about the price, but he has also told the driver that he was not reaching central town and as such, he was only able to pay LRD80.00 for his stopping point.
“What kind of stealing attitude is that, yes, I agreed he told us to pay LRD120.00, but I also told him I was not reaching in town so I was going to pay the LRD80.00 which he should be thanking me because it is far above the stipulated government price then he wants to engage me into a fight, but I was prepared for him just now,” Duanah said angrily.
It can be recalled the government of Liberia through the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Commerce reduced the fares of transportation in the country, something which has sparked heated debates within street corners across the Monrovia and its environs.
Deputy Transport Minister for Land and Rail, Darious Kollie disclosed that from Broad Street to the Monrovia City Hall is twenty Liberian dollars (LRD20.00) in a taxi cap, from Broad Streets to 24th Streets in Sinkor is thirty five Liberian dollars (LRD35.00) in a taxi cap, from Broad Streets to ELWA junction is sixty Liberian dollars (LRD60.00) in a taxi cap, from Broad Streets to Duport Road Junction is sixty five Liberian dollars (LRD65.00) and from Broad Streets to Red-light is eighty Liberian dollars (LRD80.00) among others.
Deputy Minister Kollie told the news conference that Transport Ministry alone did not derive these new fares, thus, it was done in consultations with all the relevant stakeholders within the transportation sector including the drivers’ union, petroleum importers, the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry and others.