$2 not enough

PSV owners insist on bus fare hike citing increased overheads

Owners of privately-run public service vehicles (PSVs) are warning that their ability to remain on the road depends on getting an increase in bus fares and duty-free concessions.

Chairman of the Alliance of Owners of Public Transport (AOPT) Roy Raphael told Barbados TODAY that given the increases in taxes and the price of petrol, “we cannot really continue . . . to operate on a $2 bus fare”.

“In all fairness to us generally as business people, $2 cannot cut it,” he said, adding that an increase in the number of PSVs on the roads had also compounded their plight.

Raphael said his association had been desperately trying without success to meet with Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler to discuss a proposed hike in bus fares and duty-free concessions for imported parts, with the minister failing to acknowledge any of their many letters.

“I am calling on the minister to convene a meeting with us so that we can have this discussion going forward,” Raphael pleaded.

“There are some concessions which Government can give us that will help alleviate some of the issues that we are facing right now. But because we have to absorb the costs generally, that is why we are calling for an increase in bus fares.

“Barbados has the lowest bus fares in the Caribbean. If you go to countries in the Caribbean like St Lucia and Dominica, you pay in stages. In Barbados, you can pay $2 and go as far as St Lucy or St Philip,” the AOPT chairman pointed out.

Raphael said his association had even seen an increase in the number of tourists catching PSVs, which he attributed to the low bus fare.

“Even in conducting tours from point A to point B, [tourists are using public transport],” he said.

The spokesman for the PSV owners stressed that duty-free concessions on parts for their aging vehicles were a priority.

He explained that between 80 per cent and 90 per cent of the PSVs were old, which drives up insurance costs.

“Insurance for one of our buses . . . can carry us to as much as $18,000 a year on a third-party vehicle. That doesn’t even carry that value as it relates to the bus itself. So we are saying, generally, it would be good if we can have duty-free concessions to allow us to run longer,” he said.

Raphael said the PSV owners were also still waiting on the Minister of Transport and Works to give the go-ahead for the Transport Implementation Project (TIP).

Under the TIP, 14 of the AOPT members would operate in state-owned Transport Board terminals to assist in moving passengers during peak hours.

“When it comes to 6 o’clock . . . 7 o’clock, a lot of our routes are shut down,” Raphael said, expressing the hope that through the TIP, the PSVs could be on the roads up to midnight.

emmanueljoseph@barbadostoday.bb

3 Responses to $2 not enough

  1. Milli Watt July 21, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    UP DE TING……………stupse another PARASITE

    Reply
  2. Damien Cummins July 22, 2017 at 7:52 am

    You gentlemen that own these vehicles and want more busfare from barbadIan have to do more to control your employees. No one want to be giving someone 3 or more dollars and be crammed together like we are in the ‘middle passage’. No one wants to be in a van taking 30-45 mins to get to a destination because the driver is driving at 20mph with no traffic in front of him and stopping at every gap or bus stop evenue when no one is stopping the van . No one wants to be paying 3 or more dollars to get somewhere and their driver and conductor is stopping in the middle of the street to collect a brandy and turbo from another driver so everyone can be intoxicated. Oh and you guys want to be on the roads up to midnight? Really now? I doubt that very much for some of those routes that finish early furthermore I figure some them might even get off the road earlier. More than once I’ve heard a driver or a conductor tell each around 6pm this is our last trip cause we have made enough. As usual though you guys are gonna get what you want cause psv owners are comfortable in their middle to higher income brackets and policy making in this country lately is never for the average low income bajan.

    Reply
  3. Sophia Hayes July 22, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    How about a ride free of loud, profane and derogatory crap playing in our ears? How about a driver that’s not drinking alcoholic beverages? How about one seat per passenger? How about you up de ting first and then seek to up de price cause I do understand the plight of your Association and other small business owners.. When this Government sent home tens of thousands of Barbadians, I heard Donville Inniss stating that by the year 20?Barbados will become the entrepreneurial capital of the World.. That made me laughed and almost cried simultaneously to think that they continue to piss on us and call it rain.. With every job termination an entrepreneur lost a customer. We continue to feel the domino effect from those terminations.. Ask the local coconut vendor, the hair dresser, nail tech or the mom and pops shop owners. You deserve more, we deserve more..We all can’t do like the Government and put the burden on poor people.. What will become of us if this Sink-us administration continue to suck the blood of the sufferers? One!

    Reply

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