Dar/Unguja. Passengers traveling between Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam will have to pay Sh30,000 for the standard ticket instead of Sh25,000 which they have been paying for the last eight years despite rising and falling fuel prices.
The fare increase came into effect on Thursday after the Zanzibar Maritime Authority (ZMA) approved the process. However, passengers have complained about the move, saying it will hurt them depending on the economic situation.
Authorities says this has been inevitable due to the rising cost of living, fuel, spare parts and inflation which are among the factors that have led to an increase in fares for ferries between that ply between Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam.
ZMA's move comes after, the Land Transport Authority (Latra) on May 1, announced an increase in new bus fare rates for long and short-distance trips.
According to Latra, for 30 km the fare will be Sh850 instead of Sh750 for 35 km the fare will be Sh1,000 and for 40 km the fare will be Sh1,100. While for regional buses the standard bus each passenger will pay Sh41.29 from Sh39.89 per kilometer.
Latra director general Gilliad Ngewe said the middle class, passengers are charged Sh56.88 per kilometer instead of Sh53.22, an increase of Sh3.66 equivalent to 6.88 percent.
On Thursday, the Head of ZMA Liaison Unit, Makame Sheha Ussi said the cost of living, fuel prices, spare parts and pricing of various goods are among the reasons for the increase in the current fare.
"We did not rush to make this decision, we sat down with stakeholders including experts and owners of these companies to look at how these equipments operate work and we did the calculations. For example, a speed boat travelling from Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam uses 4000 liters of fuel on a single trip.
"The fuel they use is similar to diesel, you will see how much the operating costs are. We met in the forums about four times at different times and looked at many things including these investors to make sure they do not suspend services, ”said Ussi.
A report on the changes, approved by ZMA, began circulating on Wednesday, showing an increase in prices, especially for the average grade from Sh25,000 to Sh30,000, adding that the move was due to increased operational costs.