Taxi Fare Up By N$1 From Today

Commuters will have to fork out an extra N$1 with effect from today after the Namibia Bus and Taxi Association (Nabta) announced that it had increased its fares from N$9 to N$10 per trip.

The last taxi fare hike was in 2012.

Nabta chairperson Pendapala Nakathingo said the 10% hike, which has been approved by the Ministry of Works and Transport, was necessitated by the increase in fuel prices and the high cost of living. He said the 10% increase applies to all public service transport including buses.

Ministry of Works and Transport spokesperson Grace Mubonenwa yesterday confirmed that the ministry had approved the increase.

Nakathingo urged all public transport operators and passengers to adhere to the new fares. He also said the 10% increase was not final as there was a possibility that the association might further increase the fare during the year.

“We are still researching for ways of how to effectively do this and whether another increase would be possible soon so it is not a definite decision,” he said.

Although the N$1 does not come close to the N$4 that the Namibia Transport and Taxi Union (NTTU), which represents the taxi drivers, was pushing for at the beginning of the year, taxi drivers say they welcome the increase. “It is still not as much as we would have liked but it is a good start,” said a Windhoek-based taxi driver.

Despite taxi drivers welcoming the increase, the NTTU president, Werner Januarie said the N$1 increase will do little to improve their situation.

“This is not what we bargained for. We have our own expectations in terms of taxi fare increases. The bus and taxi industry is not a charity orgainisation and we sweat to make a profit, therefore the N$1 will not help us in any way,” he said.

Although the increase has been welcomed by transport operators, commuters say they will have to adapt as the cost of living becomes steeper and challenging. Students and low income commuters will be the hardest hit.

“Every taxi-fare increase is not good news for commuters but we have to learn to accept the reality that the cost of living is increasing and we just have to adjust, as challenging as it may be,” said Oupa Johannes who commutes from his home in Ombwayalyatotina informal settlement to Windhoek West everyday.

A community member, Gisela Hoeses says the fact that she is unemployed means she will struggle to get transport fare for her children to school. “There will be less change in our pockets now.”

Source : The Namibian