The horse-drawn carriage is still used as a local means of transport in Senegal. It is still very popular with the population, which sometimes prefers it to motorised means of transport, particularly buses and other cars that provide clandestine transport with several passengers on board, at affordable prices.
The horse-drawn carriage is still very popular in Senegal. These means of transport, capable of carrying four (04) passengers, excluding the driver, are present in large numbers in Thiès, a city located 70 kilometres from the Senegalese capital, Dakar. AFRIK.COM made a small diversions in the rail capital.
If the carriage continues to impose itself in the sector, despite the recent deployment by the Senegalese authorities of brand new buses to renovate the transport system in all cities of this West African country, including Thies, it is for the simple reason that it has its own particular clientele and that this work always feeds its man. This is the observation made at the central market of Thiès.
« You know, everyone has their chance. When the state deployed these buses in the Thiès region, some of us started to worry, thinking that our livelihood had just been taken away. Many were convinced that the buses would send them to unemployment, especially as these new motorised means of transport served the four corners of the city. But it didn’t help. We are still surviving, » says Maurice, in his forties, who has been a carriage driver for about 20 years.
« We have our clientele, who have remained loyal to us. Moreover, the difference is that the bus has its own trajectory and does not take the small streets, to drop off each customer in front of his house, unlike the carriage. The bus can be so crowded that the passengers suffocate inside, which is not the case with the carriage, which still has its place in the transport system of the Thiès region, » continues Maurice, whose words are confirmed by his colleague Modou Diouf.
Ma Anta and her clients
Ma Anta and her clients
micheal jackson visite senegal
For her part, Diouma, who came to do her shopping and was questioned when she was already sitting in the carriage of a driver named Ma Anta, who serves the Nguinth district, there is no better way of transport. « When we take the bus, not only is it cramped, especially when we come back from the market with shopping, but also, and above all, the bus makes too many stops. The drivers tend to hang around to pick up more customers on the way. I much prefer the horse-drawn carriage, » says Diouma, with a burst of laughter.
The fare has a lot to do with the competitiveness of this means of transport. It varies, in fact, between 100 FCFA and 200 FCFA, depending on the distance. And sometimes, depending on the amount of luggage to be transported, it can rise to 400 or even 500 FCFA. « It’s worth it and you don’t have to worry about losing your things, » says Diouma, while Maurice looks on admiringly and says that their income varies between 2,500 and 6,000 CFA francs per day. « Enough to live my little life with my family, » says Maurice.
Maurice joining his carriage