City Beat: The unpredictable motorcycle fares

It’s a sign of responsibility when one gets to work or any other appointment on time. For many non-carring people, boarding a motorbike locally referred to as moto, is the best option to that end. However, as one looks forward to reaching one’s destination on time, one may not foresee a battle over the fare when they reach their destination.
Passenger and transporter need each other.
Passenger and transporter need each other.

It’s a sign of responsibility when one gets to work or any other appointment on time. For many non-carring people, boarding a motorbike locally referred to as moto, is the best option to that end.

However, as one looks forward to reaching one’s destination on time, one may not foresee a battle over the fare when they reach their destination.

Peter uses a moto-cycle from home to his work place every day costing him Rwf 500. He was surprised when one time he was asked to pay Rwf 600.

He did not see the logic in paying the extra Rwf 100 since the distance had neither increased nor had a fuel problem been announced in the country. The motorist could not leave him to go without paying the extra Rwf 100. A quarrel ensued.

That scenario is not limited to just Peter and that specific motor-cyclist. According to Sam Kakumba, a motor-cyclist in Nyabugogo, some people who use moto-cycles take them for granted. He also explained that some passengers regardless of the distance covered feel they should not pay beyond Rwf 500.

“They do not mind or account for the time they spend with us,” he said explaining that some times they ( motor-cyclists) have to wait for a long time as their clients conduct their businesses. This time could be used to make money transporting other passengers, he argues.

John Mutabazi, another motor-cyclist, said that some customers do not respect their work, adding that they have failed to realise how important they are in the transport system.

“We play an important part in transporting people to reach their destinations in time.  They sometimes order us to ride at a high speed,” he said, adding that all this is done only to be paid Rwf 500.

“A fee which is not even enough for a meal when admitted in hospital in case of an accident,” he said.

Suzan Mulere, a resident of Kiyovu, says that she at one time had a rough time with a motor-cyclist. She explained that motorists do not have specific rates to charge customers. So they utilise that advantage by hiking their fares.

“Two motor-cyclists are not ashamed of charging different rates yet they are carrying customers from one point to the same destination,” she observed.

Isaac Lukoko said that motor-cyclists cheat their customers because they do not have a body that regulates and fixes specific fares.

“Cheating by the motor-cyclists is very hard to deal with,” he said, further explaining that sometimes when you are in a hurry, they will charge you what they want as they notice that all you want is to reach your destination.

Lukoko explained that another advantage enjoyed by the motor-cyclist is that they carry one customer at a time.

“If you complain, your complaint will only be heard by that very motor-cyclist. That does not amount to much as you’ll still pay up,” he observed.

Both parties are not contented with how each handles the other yet they both are supposed to have a symbiotic relationship.

Probably the best option is to negotiate the fare before setting off. Otherwise, the ever unpredictable motor cycle fares will always lead to tempers flaring.

Ends 

 

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