It is unfortunate that daladala operators in Mbeya and Moshi have taken their vehicles off the road over disagreements with local authorities.
Although there are underlying factors behind the two strikes, the common contention by the bus owners is the competition they face from three-wheeled motorcycles, also known as bajajis, that seem to be winning over customers.
There is no denying that bajaji operators have a competitive edge over daladala operators, but such is the nature of business competition.
It is ruthless. For instance, while buses are forced to pick up and drop off passengers only at designated stops, bajajis can do so virtually anywhere.
While commuter buses and other vehicles are forced to stay on the road during traffic jams, the same cannot be said of the three-wheelers, which often use any means to avoid snarl-ups.
This is a clear advantage for bajajis that authorities should address to bring about fair competition. This disregard for road regulations is often the cause of road accidents. However, after all is said and done, it is imperative that daladala operators up their game.
Their services often leave a lot to be desired. Not only are they notorious for harassing their customers, they also overload and their conductors are often unkempt, among others.