Kabul residents feeling the heat of high transportation costs

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KABUL (SW) – A number of Kabul residents, complaining about the excessive increase in transportation fares, say that the drivers decide the fare of their commuting routes arbitrarily.

Mustafa, a resident of Kabul who works in a shop in Shahr-e-Nau and commutes daily from Kota Sangi, told Salam Watandar that these days he walks from work to home due to the high fare of transport.

“I am the head of a family of three. I am a worker and I earn less than 150 afghanis a day. I come to work and pay 30 afghanis for the taxi fare from each side. With the increase in taxi rent, I can’t afford it.”

Similarly, Khalid, another resident of Kabul, said: “I am unemployed and in debt. I come to the city from Khairkhana and pay 30 afghanis for the taxi. This rate is very high. Officials should pay serious attention to this issue.”

Meanwhile, a number of taxi drivers, complaining about the rising inflation, said that they set the fare arbitrarily.

Amir, a taxi driver, said: “Cost of living and fuel prices are the very high. Also, the number of private cars has increased in different routes and the drivers have increased the fare to meet their needs”.

However, the officials of the Ministry of Transportation and Civil Aviation say that they have prepared a plan to determine the rental rates of city cabs, which will be implemented soon.

Imamuddin Ahmadi, the spokesman of the ministry, said: “The bill to reduce car fares has been prepared and the fares have been reduced by 5 to 10 afghanis on 123 routes. A letter has been issued to all institutions that must be implemented.”

The city of Kabul, with more than six million people, is among a handful capital cities in the world that does not have a regular transportation system and active city buses on all commuting routes. It has made its residents, especially people with low economic ability, face many problems in their daily commutes within the city.