Those who use public transport should now start cycling while the people with cars should use public transport to beat rising transport costs, says Capital Buses proprietor Ishmael Kankara. Yesterday, Kankara confirmed that Capital Buses (commonly referred to as Flash) has increased bus fares by K1.00 in response to the fuel hike announced on Monday. The Energy Regulation Board (ERB) has adjusted the pump price of petroleum products by K1.13 for petrol, K1.00 for diesel and K0.72 for kerosene.
Petrol now costs K9.87 per litre from the previous K8.74 per litre while diesel is now selling at K8.59 per litre from K7.59. Kerosene has been pegged at K6.12 per litre from K5.40 previously. ERB has blamed the weakening kwacha for the increase, which last saw an upward adjustment in May. Reacting to the announcement, Kankara advised Zambians to seriously invest in bicycles as an alternative means of transportation to mitigate the challenges faced with the high price of public transportation.
“I don’t want to be a hypocrite or something but I would strongly advise people to buy bicycles now. Even if it dents our business, it is fine, as long as it is doing good for the people of Zambia,” he said in an interview yesterday. Kankara also said motorists needed to reconsider their mode of transportation to guard against the high cost of fuel in the local economy. “The middle-income people using cars must now think of using public transport as well so that way, it will compensate, and then we will have less chaos, less confusion in the traffic. And economically, it would at least be viable,” he added. Kankara said investing in bicycles would be cheaper and healthier in view of the high fuel prices. “It is cheaper, better and it is even healthier; we are becoming a nation of unhealthy people because we are not exercising much,” he said. “Before, 20, 30 years ago, we used to walk long distances and it used to keep our health in check. So, even the youngsters, if they understand and think and start walking like we used to before, then I think it will work out.” And Kankara confirmed that his bus company had increased bus fares by K1.00 in response to the fuel price hike. “RTSA increased road tax, fitness, even change of ownership, so our expenses have gone through the roof now. We need K1.00 increment with immediate effect to tell you the truth, because that is what we need to cushion the effects,” said Kankara.
Courtesy of the Post Newspaper