Public Transport is Becoming a Nightmare

It might look trivial to them because it doesn’t affect them; but it is as critical & important as anything else. The chaos, quarrels and the unpleasant exchanges that’s happening by day in the traffic, especially going from Westfield toTabokoto is unhealthy, uncivilized and can at anytime graduate to serious conflicts if the relevant authorities don’t take swift measures to address it.

Yesterday, like any other day, I was in a car going to Latrikunda and there was a lady going to Tabokoto in the same car. She boded the car in the ticket that is going to Latrikunda, then when the driver get closer to Latrikunda, the driver said he’s proceeding to Tabokoto. This was where the fracas begun, because the lady was also heading to Tabokoto and she understands the tariffs and weave first to enlighten the driver and his conductor about how unlawful that act was, defending her argument with facts. I was glad and thrilled how bold she was speaking. All of us in the car supported her stance knowing we’re all victims at one point.

The driver, out of ignorance or greed got infuriated and started saying rubbish to this young brilliant girl. Myself and another guy sitting next to the driver’s seat, started talking to the driver to accept the facts of the matter as they were valid points but his argument and only point was that, “if you’re going to Tabokoto why entering Latrikunda car”? He reacted. That was bogus because there’s no van ‘garage’ [motor park] in Latrikunda, and of course that was a van going to Brikama, but because it is rush hour, all drivers act like that.

This issue is beyond passengers, because they cannot make any drastic changes to it other than complaining or at worst fight. It is the responsibility of the Transport Union of the Gambia under the purview of Gambia government to address this issue before it goes out of hand, lest sooner rather than later drivers and passengers will start exchanging blows.

Moreover, there cannot be progress without mobility… even though there’s 3 in every 100 Gambians that own a car but where are the roads? Everyone want to own a car but who is willing to even rehabilitate their own neighborhood roads? Yes, it’s government’s responsibility, so is yours if you have the means. Look at main roads connecting major towns in the Greater Banjul Area, they’re so tight and drivers are always impatient for one another  in the traffic.

Transportation in the Gambia, especially in the greater Banjul area during working days is a nightmare. People commuting to and fro by public transport, sometimes pay thrice the normal fares – this is terrible and undeserving. For instance your transport allowances is 500 dalasis and you spend daily nearly 50 dalasi for fares only to & from work, then obviously by end of the month, you will spend more than your transport allowance… how about school fees of your children and their lunch, the fish money and other commitments… this vicious circle of impoverishment in this country is what never seems to break and is stunting our progress as a nation. It is exploitation to its highest peak, yet no one is doing anything about it; not even the right authorities, as it appears.

Is it misplaced prioritizing? Not affected and don’t care!


Author: Lamin Njie Jr.

Lamin is a writer; an essayist, storyteller, consumer activist, and a former Writer/Reporter at He had authored many articles and essays on contemporary Gambian issues. He also taught Literature-in-English in secondary schools in The Gambia for several years. He works with for Consumer Protection Association of The Gambia as Admin Sec and Thematic Working Group Coordinator. He's currently pursuing HND in Diplomacy and International Relations at Management Development Institute (MDI), The Gambia.

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