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News Entry# 72517
May 11 2012 (19:57) Tanzania: Train Fare Hike Plan Rejected (
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News Entry# 72517     
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THE request by the Tanzania Railways Ltd (TRL) to hike fare tariffs by up to 50 per cent was on Thursday dismissed as "unjust and absurd" at a stakeholders' meeting held in Dar es Salaam.
The stakeholders have instead called upon the government to pump into the company adequate finacial resources to rescue it from total collapse.The TRL Principal Commercial Manager, Mr Hassan Shaban, proposed at the meeting an increase of tariffs by 25 per cent for first class passengers, 25 per cent for second class and 50 per cent for third class.
said the hike would enable TRL generate 8.1bn/- and reduce cash flow gap currently affects TRL operations.He said the gap between revenue and expenditure was running at minus 86 per cent and high operational costs on fuel and the effect of other economic factors have adversely affected the company.
Stakeholders said it was unjust and absurd for the company to hike fare at the time it was offering horrible servises."Since the TRL services have deteriorated to an alarming level, we don't see why the poor passengers should now dig deeper into their pockets to pay for unreliable services," said Mr Oscar Kikoyo, Executive Secretary of the Sumatra Consumer Consultative Council (CCC).
He said increasing fare would not be a solution to TRL's financial blues. Mr Kikoyo said the hike if granted could drastically reduce TRL's income by 99 per cent because travellers were likely to opt for bus transport.He said when the fare tariffs rose in 2009, the number of passengers dropped from 548,819 to 290,046 in 2010.
The TRL Acting Chief of Corporate Planning and Management Services, Ms Annie Malissa, blamed the government for neglecting the railway company, but dishing a lot of funds to the road sector."We have been asking for funds to rehabilitate the railway infrastructure in vain.
" ..and perhaps to rub salt on an open wound we received the company from Indian investor which left us with a loss of more than 78bn/-," she said.
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