Trouble has again begun for residents of the densely populated Township of Gardnersville with the beginning of the rainy season as commercial drivers have hiked transportation fares and the prices of basic commodities on the market have risen.
Gardnersville residents are now in quagmire especially in the hands of commercial drivers who are increasing transportation fares daily without control. Commercial drivers have refused to adhere to Government’s pronounced regulations on the reduction of transportation fares thus, causing serious embarrassment for commuters residing in the township and adjacent communities.
A team of Inquirer reporters who visited the township observed that things have gone out of control as commercial drivers are said to be running their own government. In defiance to the Transportation Ministry’s regulations on transportation fares, commercial drivers are charging passengers any amount they decide.
Drivers are charging commuters from Bardnersville Estate to central Monrovia L$130, from Bardnersville Junction to town, L$110, and from New Georgia Junction to central Monrovia L$100.00 something that is posing serious hardship for residents of those residing in that part of the country.
Residents said despite the Ministry’s recent pronounced transportation fares released, commercial drivers have vehemently ignored same because the Government has failed to enforce the regulation. “This is not the first time for government to decrease the price of transportation and drivers do their own thing,” Fatu Davies, a resident of the township of Gardnersville stated.
It is no secret that whenever the Ministry of Transport reduces transportation fares, such regulation lasts for only a week. Whether government does not have the power to compel drivers to adhere to its regulation is anyone’s guess, but the situation has become the culture of the day thus causing serious problem for the citizens.
The worst situation faced by commuters from Gardnersville is that for them to return home, drivers only accept charter to take the citizens back to their various localities.
Some of the commercial drivers only accept not less than L$150.00 to take a passenger from Broad Street to New Georgia Junction, while others charge L$200 to Bardnersville Junction and L$250 to Bardnersville Estate.
The drivers are mainly using car loaders to find passengers who will be willing to pay the desired amount charged by them.
Worst of all the deplorable road condition is another huddle being faced by residents of Gardnersville. Since the beginning of the rainy season all roads in the township including the Somalia Drive are almost impassable. From Bardnersville Junction to the Estate Market now takes a driver at least 20-30 minutes though the drivers are no longer reaching the last bus stop.
“Government seriously needs to intervene in this situation especially this rainy season,” Morris Kamara, another resident of Bardnersville told The INQUIRER with fury. The residents are appealing to the Liberian Government to rehabilitate the Bardnersville Road for the smooth movement of the citizens and vehicles.
On the other hand, vehicle owners are also complaining of the recent increase in the price of gasoline and spare parts of vehicles. They said due to the bad road condition they are purchasing parts for their vehicles weekly which is adversely affecting them economically.