Tension is brewing onboard several buses of the National Transit Authority or NTA that ply the route from Duala to Paynesville City after commuters alarmed that they were allegedly issued duplicated tickets with different prices.
When the government of President George M. Weah announced the arrival of nearly 50 brand new buses from India for the National Transit Authority with fares at 15 Liberian dollars per students for one trip and 30 Liberian dollars for adults, many Liberians welcomed the government’s gesture.
But after the buses ply various routes in the capital and out of town for some times, the Management of the NTA situated in Gardnersville outside Monrovia, increased the fares to LRD35 per student and LRD50 for adults for each trip.
However, what seems a scam or financial syndicate aimed at duping commuters through the sale of duplicated tickets was uncovered by commuters, which nearly led to serious tension between some conductors and commuters onboard the buses.
They observed that instead of the NTA conductors selling the regular tickets to commuters for the printed price on each ticket, they were doing the opposite.
Several commuters, including Betty Watson, Samuel Koon, and Felecia Wilson, who boarded one of the NTA buses from Duala and Paynesville Redlight respectively, explained that the conductor on the Duala bus instead of receiving LRD35, requested them to deposit into the cash box onboard the bus the sum of LRD50, but issued them LRD30 tickets.
Similarly, they noted that on the NTA bus commuting passengers from Central Monrovia to Paynesville City, conductor also requested passengers to deposit LRD50 but issued LRD60 ticket.
According to the commuters, after discovering the discrepancy, they immediately alerted the conductor onboard, sparking confusion between them and the conductors that nearly resulted to fistfight had it not been for timely intervention of other passengers.Moreover, it was also observed that one of the fares was written with ink pen, instead of the regular machine printing.
This paper has in its possession some of the tickets in question.
When this reporter contacted the NTA head officer in Gardnersville to ascertain facts surrounding the situation that seems to have engulfed the NTA, security guards there said the appropriate person to speak on the matter was out in the field.
By Emmanuel Mondaye–Editing by Jonathan Browne