By Sailu Bah
Fares of the ferry plying the Banjul-Barra route have now been increased from D15 to D25 as we enter the New Year.
This 60% increment was confirmed by Mr. Ansumana Gibba, the Public Relation Officer of the Gambia Ports Authority (GPA), who added that the increment took effect on 1st January 2015. The PRO said the new tariff will be issued for publication in the media.
Visiting the Banjul Ferry Terminal during the weekend, this reporter spoke to travellers who expressed their opinion on the increment in fares.
Aja Bojang, a regular traveler from the North Bank Region, said the increment is unaffordable to the majority of people who had to cross the river on a daily basis in order to make ends meet.
“We are low income earners who have to cross every day from Barra to Banjul to engage in petty trading in order to sustain our families. What I earn sometimes in the whole day does not exceed D100. So how can I survive with this expensive ferry tickets and transport fares to and from my home?” she asked.
She called on the GPA management to revert to the old tariff to enable people like her to continue doing their petty trade with a view to supporting their families.
Isatou Kujabi, another trader from the Kombos, expressed similar concerns, adding that they cannot be spending all what they earn from their small business on ferry and vehicle fares.
However, due to the traffic pressure on the only ferry plying the route as many people were travelling to different destinations in both the Gambia and in Senegal to observe the Muslim feast of “Gamo,” some travellers, especially the traders, had to resort to the artisanal wooden boats to cross with their merchandise.
By Sailu Bah