In Burkina Faso, ten days after the resumption of public transport activities, it is not yet the big crowd in the stations. Transport companies have had to reduce the frequency of bus departures to limit losses. The measures against the Covid-19 do not allow buses to carry a significant number of passengers per route. And even at the level of taxi drivers, it is the same crisis, customers are very rare.
Usually noisy, silence has prevailed at bus stations since the resumption of transport activities. With about twenty departures between the capital and Bobo-Dioulasso, the company TCV is now satisfied with only one bus departure per day. “ Currently we are at a frequency, in both directions, that is to say Bobo-Ouaga, and since we started, it does not take as before Says Dramane Palé, the operations manager in the central region.
As part of the fight against Covid-19, it was agreed to limit the number of seats on buses. For example, buses that have more than 70 seats, can only carry 60 passengers and those that have more than 55 seats are limited to 45 passengers. ” Obviously, when we take forty-six passengers, that makes almost twenty places that remain empty. And this has financial implications for our revenues. Our departures have decreased due to the curfew, afternoon departures are canceled », Explains Roland Yaogo, station manager at TSR.
For the moment, internal traffic is open. The borders remain closed. Jacques Ismaël is the counter of the savannah transport company serving Niger, Togo and Cote d´Ivoire. He now spends these days observing the buses at the stop. ” In any case, since the day we closed the borders, we are there “stuck”, we do nothing “, He laments.
No customers for taxis
As for taxi drivers, it’s the same hassle. No customers, so no more daily revenue. ” In any case, right now, it’s serious. You don’t earn much a day, sometimes a thousand francs, sometimes two thousand francs. Sometimes we can do three days without clients. Right now, it doesn’t work at all “, Testifies a driver. ” There are not even any customers. We are told to take three people at 500 francs, people refuse. Even three hundred. Since the morning there, it’s a thousand francs that are in my pocket. Says another.
This slowdown in transportation is increasing the concern of workers. ” Everything is stopped at our level. We wonder how we are going to be paid. Our hope is that it will resume quickly if not worrisome. In truth we don’t work, but we have to work to hope to be paid Explains Dramane Palé. The carriers hope to reopen the borders for a revival of their activities.
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