Berbice Bridge toll reduction to take effect from September 01

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The Berbice River Bridge.

By Fareeza Haniff

The Berbice River Bridge.
The Berbice River Bridge.

[www.inewsguyana.com] – The APNU+AFC government has kept its promise of reducing the Berbice Bridge toll, which will take effect from September 01, 2015.

Finance Minister, Winston Jordan told the National Assembly that the toll for passenger cars and buses will be reduced from $2,200 to $1,900, a 13.6 percent decline.

At the same time, the toll for all other types of vehicles will be reduced by 10 percent.

The Finance Minister revealed that over 150,000 Guyanese live within Regions 5 and 6 and traverse the Berbice Bridge to access education and health services, conduct business and travel on a daily basis and that thousands more traverse the bridge annually.

“This Government has heard the cries of the people and will alleviate the burden of the high fares imposed on them. I am pleased to inform this House that the lives of the citizens of Regions 5 and 6, and indeed all Guyanese who travel to the Ancient County, will be improved as a result of the implementation of the first of a phased reduction in the Berbice Bridge Toll,” Jordan said.

It should be noted that the private sector is against the reduction in toll on the basis that such a move would only put the future Public/ Private Partnership in jeopardy.

But the new government is floating the idea of a subsidy for the Berbice Bridge Company so as it offset the cost of the reduction.

Minister of Governance, Raphael Trotman had recently noted, “Government is going to negotiate with the company, the idea of perhaps a subsidy that would ensure that the tolls are lowered. We have no intentions of interfering with companies’ right to a rate of fare and a favourable rate of return on their investment. But we believe as a responsible government, we do have a right to represent the people and we heard the cries of the people in Regions 6 and 5 in particular, who demand a lowering and if the Company is unable to do so, government feels it should step in to work with the Company to see how we could literally relieve the burden of the heavy cost of travel across that bridge.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Observer, if you are good at subtraction and calculating percentages, you would discover that the reduction of the toll is just peanuts; less than what most parents give their children in secondary schools and perhaps the primary schools as well, to buy their daily snacks. That announcement is a headline grabbing political gimmick. Yes I do admit it is a start but also the end until another election comes around like the soon local government elections

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