Sumatra now uses mobile phones to curb rogue bus operators

Saturday December 15 2018


By Jonathan Musa @TheCitizenTZ

Mwanza. The Surface and Marine Transport Authority’s (Sumatra) has warned bus operators who tend to hike fares during festive season. Would-be travelers ca now use mobile phones to establish correct bus fares.

The Regional Officer In-charge of Sumatra, Gabriel Anthony told The Citizen that the authority has been conducting a campaign to educate potential travelers on how to spot establish official bus fares.

He said the campaign was launched in August 2018 and is getting to the end on Monday 17 this month.

“We’ve now educated travelers on how to use a mobile phone to establish the correct bus fares. Whether by smart phone or any other, they can identify the fares,’’ he said.

How to do it

“Just go to messaging, type the word fare followed by a single space type where you are located, maybe in Mwanza, then press a single space then where you are heading to like, such as Arusha, then send to 15200, the time taken to wait from the feedback cannot exceed two minutes,” said Anthony.

He said the cost of the service is Sh 150/- and a person will be sure of the fare expected to be paid to cover for the journey rather than being ‘conned’, jsu as it was happening in the past.

He further revealed that there would be a crackdown starting on Monday 17 up to January 17. The aim is to ensure that bus operators comply with the rules laid by the authority.

“The inspection will also check on both business and driving licenses and also the schedules on public transport vehicles,” said Anthony.

According to Buzuruga bus terminal’s chairman Philip Charles, the Sumatra’s warning has helped boost the number of people travelling from the city to other places.

“Given the huge number of people travelling, we as leaders ensure that no even a single person will be charged beyond normal bus fares. One can book in advance and wait but not pay much,” said Charles.

The chairman also informed that, for instance, people heading to Dar es Salaam from Mwanza pay between Sh 45,000/- to Sh 50,000/- depending on the class and the bus company.