Subsidy: Taxi Drivers, Tricycle Operators Clash Over Fare In Ondo
Commercial taxi drivers and tricycle operators yesterday clashed in Akure, Ondo State, over transportation to be charged on respective passengers. The clash which happened in Akure and its environs was a result of the refusal of tricycle riders to pick passengers at an increased price as demanded by the taxi drivers who complained that the increase in fuel price has affected them.
A drop from FUTA Northgate to Oja Market was increased from N200.00 to N300.00 by taxi drivers, but tricycle riders refuse to abide by it. This angered commercial drivers who mobilised and began discharging passengers being conveyed by tricycle riders.
Many passengers were stranded and resolved to use motorcycles known as okada for their destinations. Some taxi drivers said they would be indebted if they allowed tricycle riders to continue picking passengers. A taxi driver, Mr. Olawale Ajayi said they were not fighting the tricycle riders but wanted to ensure they agreed to pick passengers at the new rate.
His words "We are organising here, because passengers are not ready to pay the new prices of N300 instead of N200 per drop. Tricycle riders are taking passengers for N200 instead of N300. We cannot make money if we continue to carry at the old price. From North Gate to Oja is supposed to be N300.
The operation of keke riders is affecting us. We want to negotiate with them." Another driver, Olulekan Smart, said they cannot make a daily balance of N4000 if they bought 30 litres a day for N15,000. Smart said, "When it was N195, we carried N150. If passengers do not have money, they should remain in their houses.
They should know that transport has increased. Keke is collecting the old price because they do not consume much fuel. We want them to stop and see reasons with us." Another taxi driver, Adeniyi Akinfolarin said, "We want to agree on a price tag that all of us will accept. Brake pad in our vehicle is N4000.
We want keke riders to agree with us. We want a fine imposed on those collecting old transportation fare." Some of the tricycle riders however said it was a free market and that they would make profit from little price adjustment. They argued that since their tricycles do not consume much fuel, they need not impose a burden on the passengers.