The National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) says it may increase fares over new guidelines issued by the federal government on interstate travel.
On Monday, the federal government lifted the ban on interstate travel starting from July 1, but mandated temperature checks for every passenger and crowd control at motor parks. Vehicles are also required to carry only fifty percent of their capacity.
Kabiru Yau, NURTW acting general secretary, said the directive for motorists to carry fewer passengers on a trip will reduce their income. He asked the federal government to subsidise the operation cost of the motorists.
“We thank the federal government for lifting the ban. It is a welcome development because it is over three months that our members have been out of jobs and without income,” he said.
“At least, our people will now start working and get something to feed their families. But at the same time, due to the spacing in the vehicles which will require the drivers to carry only nine or ten instead of the usual 18 passengers, the income of the drivers will be reduced.
“So we want the government to help subsidise the cost of those passengers that we will not be carrying or we will have to increase our transport fares. This is because the money that will be generated from the reduced number of passengers will barely cover the cost of fuel for the journey.
“So, what is the gain? What will you give to the owner of the vehicle? So, the government should please help us look into this matter.”