No Business …Commercial Drivers Cry Out!
Commercial drivers in the country this medium has talked to decried the slow rate at which business is moving in the country; most of them saying that business has suddenly gone bad not only for them but those that provide business for them are mostly out of business and thus the ‘no business’ syndrome spreads to them, making life very difficult.
In Freetown, most of the drivers say after the early morning rush to school and work place, there will be not much business until dead in the evening when passengers will be returning home.
Samuel Kamara a poda poda driver plying the Regent Street-Lumley route said “we all of the sudden have discovered that there is not much work for us anymore, after undertaking petrol cost and paying ‘master money’ we hardly have anything left to take home and the situation becomes uglier and uglier every day.” Â Taxis that shuttle within the central business district in Freetown complain “we just move around and mostly competing with pedestrians on the street for space, in times past; there were not many people walking around and we used to make short shuttles that gave us the atmosphere to thrive in the business” a rather literate old Fullah taxi driver Mohamed Jalloh recounted to our reporter.
“You could drive for most part of the afternoon in a the high traffic situation and make nothing at the end of the day; that’s not good business, in the evening when business will normally be better the traffic situation grows denser and you get stocked up in one place for several hours making nothing in return, this is when you see passengers getting out of vehicles and hitting the street in their quest to get home earlier,” Jalloh told Sierra Express Media.Â Â Â
Those who travel to various destinations in the provinces are even more disgruntled at the unavailability of passengers in public commercial parking grounds “this is the second day I am spending here and am still on queue to load for Kambia” Mohamed Sesay born in the Kambia district who has plied the route for over 8 years now said in apt dismay. He added that “this is the holiday season when we used to have a bounty of passengers to and fro, sometimes given the cause to do double trips but it doesn’t look like that one bit!”
Drivers going to other places like Pujehun, Moyamba, Kono and Kenema made similar concerns whilst appalling negative factors like gross police extortion, rise in the price of fuel and the rocketing trend of the standard of living in the country.
Drivers Union Executives at the Central Lorry Park at Kissy Mess-Mess attributed the problem to the general trend of business in the country and the world at large, but expressed concern on tax raises and the increase in the price for licenses for motor vehicles and drivers as well.
However, most drivers in the west of the city revealed a drastic cut in the rate of police extortion, praising the intervention of traffic wardens who they say are more considerate.Â Â Â Â
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