PSV appeal

Operators appeal to Sinckler for relief in upcoming Budget

Privately owned public service vehicle (PSV) operators are hoping that Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler will finally hear their cry and provide relief in the upcoming budget, expected to be presented to Parliament before the end of this month.

Complaining that they spend over $13 million a year to insure their vehicles – many of which are well over 20 years old – are road worthy for commuter safety, Vice President of the Alliance Owners of Public Transport (AOPT) Charles Layne is appealing to Sinckler to grant them duty-free tax concessions on new vehicles to replace the aging ones.

“To buy brand new vehicles is going to cause a lot of expenses with the banks and different things . . . but if we could get duty-free it will lessen the expenses,” Layne told Barbados TODAY, adding that operators also have to look for upwards of $15,000 a year for insurance for the ZRs and a lot more for minibuses.

“And then you have the taxes and so on, and then the parts . . . ruin your pockets because of the old vehicles. So we are looking at if we could get duty-free at least, that would help us to offset some of the expenses,” the PSV official noted.

Layne revealed that the island’s 400 ZRs spend some $4 million a year in replacement parts, while the more than 390 minibuses spend about $7.8 million.

In addition, he said, with each ZR having to change tyres at least four times a year at a cost of about $300 per tyre, this worked out to an overall $480,000 annually.

A similar situation applies to minibuses, which carry six tyres at $500 each, resulting in expenditure of $1.1 million, he explained.

The PSV owners and operators have long contended that while members of Barbados’ horse racing fraternity were granted duty waivers on parts imported for their automobiles, the people whose livelihoods depended on their vehicles received no such privileges.

They have also said they felt restricted in the face of rising costs because they were prohibited from charging higher fares, and that clogged roads were making it challenging to get people to their destinations, particularly when there are cruise ships in port.

It was an issue raised by President of the Association of Public Transport Operators (APTO) Morris Lee in February of this year when he told Barbados TODAY the 7,000 PSV operators would not give away their votes cheaply come the next general election if the political parties did not address their concerns in their manifestos.

Lee also suggested then that those vying to form the next Government must acknowledge that the regulatory structure was in desperate need of an overhaul, as the status quo was heavily skewed against owners and operators.

“You have PSVs on the road that are close to 35 years of age because the operators are forced to keep these vehicles for long periods of time because a new vehicle is $1/4 million. A duty-free bus would be under $100,000 but the duty is about 83 per cent.

“So therefore you paying that amount for the vehicle, you working for $2 as legislated and when you pay Value Added Tax on diesel, tyres and parts, you cannot claim back a cent because PSVs are not structured within the VAT system. We can only pay the VAT but we cannot get back anything. So the Governments have a lot of food for thought,” Lee stressed at the time.

However, demands for a fare rise have now been taken off the table, with Layne telling Barbados TODAY although a hike would be more than welcomed, piling on more expenses on an already overburdened population would be “a little tight”.

“We ain’t looking at the bus fares right now because we more of less looking at the economic situation in the country; and then you have a lot of people not working and some who working have to catch two buses everyday, and right now they are paying $8 a day,” Layne pointed out.

emmanueljoseph@barbadostoday.bb

17 Responses to PSV appeal

  1. michael parker May 4, 2017 at 1:16 am

    maybe if theese buses were not involved in so many accidents the insurance companys wouldn,t charge as much.

    Reply
  2. Angel Maria
    Angel Maria May 4, 2017 at 1:28 am

    Parts aren’t the only thing that want replacing on those PSVs is all I’m going to say.

    Reply
  3. Angus Benn
    Angus Benn May 4, 2017 at 2:27 am

    You all have to stop doing foolishness on the people road first. Insurance supposed to come down if you have no claims every year. Their is something call no claim bonus.

    Reply
  4. Sheldine Dyall
    Sheldine Dyall May 4, 2017 at 5:26 am

    These could bring back the economy with stiffer fines. This culture makes it own laws.

    Reply
  5. Ricquel Welch
    Ricquel Welch May 4, 2017 at 6:03 am

    What does the woman standing there have to do with the article lol? Could have just put a pic of the van

    Reply
  6. John Digger Benn
    John Digger Benn May 4, 2017 at 6:36 am

    don’t wait for it

    Reply
  7. Ras Small
    Ras Small May 4, 2017 at 6:39 am

    No one shud be allowed to operate/drive a PSV until 25 yrs.
    Demerit system want implementing fah all drivers especially de PSV’s.
    If caught, not having on a seatbelt warrants a $500 fine, den those caught operating a vehicle whilst using a cellphone/tablet/gadget shud be fined $5000 or 1 mth of jail time or 2 mths community service.

    Reply
    • Tristan John
      Tristan John May 4, 2017 at 8:24 am

      You forget getting punished for smoking weed and drinking alcohol while on the job.

      Reply
  8. Jane Cumberbatch May 4, 2017 at 7:58 am

    If they could get reliable drivers, the mini-bus people could save a lot of money. I think they also put something in the gasoline and that ruins the engines. There needs to be a number to call to report the bad driving behaviour of these mini bus/ZR drivers. The loud music – they can’t even hear if an emergency is approaching. On Sunday, the driver took off fast after we got on the bus and just about knocked both of us on the floor, then again at the next stop someone almost fell over before they got to their seat and the driver stopped to let us off in the middle of the road so that another mini bus couldn’t get by him. Someone has to do something about this minibus culture. Take the music out of the vans. The people don’t need to be entertained as they go to work – let them use their phones or read a book or just relax and have their choice – not the awful, occultic music that they play in most mini-buses.

    Reply
  9. Shakira Hunte
    Shakira Hunte May 4, 2017 at 8:31 am

    Higher fares for worst treatment ?????

    Reply
  10. Leroy May 4, 2017 at 9:12 am

    “The PSV owners and operators have long contended that while members of Barbados’ horse racing fraternity were granted duty waivers on parts imported for their automobiles, the people whose livelihoods depended on their vehicles received no such privileges.”

    Almost anyone with a horse for racing can afford to pay duties IMHO.

    Good point,
    if the PSV are looked at as a business from the law makers and public in general and not some run of the mill hustle maybe their cries can be heard but the few bad apples spoil their image, as a group they must ensure their existence with strict guidelines.
    Ive never once heard the PSV head come forward and ask for regulations on age and driving record of PSV drivers to make sure they weed out the bad apples.

    Reply
  11. Alex Alleyne May 4, 2017 at 10:43 am

    Despite all the foolishness you drivers do on the road , I am with your President on this one with the DUTY-FREE issue. I also believe that he must put on the table of having your own GAS/DEISEL station just like the TAXI co-op. Open your own PARTS STORE that import GENUINE parts only and not the poor after market stuff that wears out in very short time. This include TYRES.
    Seeing that BDS do not have a transfer system in place where the traveling public can take 2 buses on one fare , the Government should go along with your request now that you take the hike in bus fare off the table.
    If not ,like everything else, the next move is a STRIKE .

    Reply
  12. Milli Watt May 4, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    imagine no money in this place, this crowd on the road every day clearly making money and want concessions…….not a blind cent. To a large extent the owners live well in the country and don’t dismiss the drivers and conductors sstttuuuuppppssseeeee every where you turn parasites. Taxis are another group that getting way with murder. I cannot see how taxpayers can be bank rolling duty free vehicles for this crowd. If this Minister ever give this crowd a blind cent

    Reply
  13. tedd May 4, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    rather than duty free busses which would increase the fx expenditure we should look at revive local manufacturing of busses again. At least the labour and assembly portion of the cost would be in local $ and not fx. Also it would be using bdos labour and not overseas labour. Duty free concessions for the bus manufacturer could be an incentive to making them competitive with the imported ones that use Chinese labour.

    Reply
  14. Frank White May 4, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    I agree that plenty minibus drivers conduct themselves unbecoming of someone providing a public service. However, I am also of the opinion that if you all are treated badly, you all will behave badly. I will bet that if a so called white business man or conglomerate were to roll out a fleet of buses to provide public transportation, this current minister would be breaking his neck to go parliament in order to change the road traffic act in order to roll out the sweets for them…

    Taxi men and women as far as I am concern, drive just as bad or worse than minibus drivers and they get duty free vehicles…

    I yet to see any minister of government, actually doing something for the good of the black community that elected them…

    Reply
  15. Alex Alleyne May 4, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    @tedd, for that to happen, the WILLIAMS BROTHERS will have to open an assembly plant.

    Reply
  16. mumla May 12, 2017 at 10:05 am

    some you ppl fulll of horse down…. some of you never step foot in a psv zr or minibus but crying foul,,,,, alll they asking for is help so that they feel better driving your families around safely ,,,, yes a lot of them out there doing shit but blame the owner cause wen u complain some owners still keep that driver ,,, but here is the main problem that is causing this ,,, the owners are asking a driver to bring in a specified amount of money daily ,, after that the driver is still forced to look for money to refuel the van ,, pay the conductor and himself,,, put most fella out there to rebel and hustle ,,, i am one of those drivers out there ,, i dont do crap like that , and lots more guy dont either and the good ones are the ones who barely getting anything to go home with ….when i started driving insurance had a crack down on drivers ,no one could driver unless license was 5yrs or over and u were over 25 now everyone can driver so here u see the insurance allowing they rules to bend ,,, so i suggest both sides should address alll those issues and work something out …

    Reply

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