Big Buses are back! But are they here to stay?

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By Kurt Campbell

One of the minibuses contracted by the Ministry of Public Works. [GINA Photo]
One of the minibuses contracted by the Ministry of Public Works. [GINA Photo]
[www.inewsguyana.com] –While the reintroduction of the big bus service by the government continues to be opposed by many minibus operators and owners, commuters along the East Coast, West Coast, East Bank and West Bank of Demerara are rejoicing.

The joy has no doubt been caused too by the fact that the service is absolutely free; bringing relief to the commuting public who had up to last week been forced to pay exorbitant fares, especially at peak hours to get to work and home.

But there is no guarantee that this “free” service will be enjoyed by the public beyond the next two weeks.

Cabinet Secretary Dr. Roger Luncheon explained that the administration has agreed that over the next two weeks, discussions will be held with minibus owners and operators and a review of the situation will be done.

He said at the end of this process, Cabinet will make a determination on the continuation of program.

The decision to reintroduce the big bus service was made after minibus operators plying the number 44, East Coast Demerara route threatened massive strike action over a proposed 100 percent fare increase.

While commuters will have to wait and see if a continuation of the program is possible, they have been given the assurance by the administration that they will be protected from paying unauthorized increased fares and in some cases being made to pay full fares for half way journeys.

Government has made it clear that a situation where commuters are suffering as a result of a one sided action by minibus operators will not be encouraged.

“Minibus operators and owners have thrown down the gantlet to the government,” Luncheon said; adding that “the golden yard stick of $100 per gallon for fuel has not been breached. Therein lays no basis for an increase. It simply does not exist.”

 

 

1 COMMENT

  1. I understand and appreciate the hardship the mini-bus owners may be feeling. However, they have continuously disregarded the safety of passengers, it has become a “game of hustle.” I personally had to exit a Bus before my destination, simply because the driver insisted on driving erratically, in addition to having the volume on the radio to the highest. Then there are the frequent accidents, with loss of life. The government has encouraged this lawlessness for far too long, and if you are expecting tourists to visit Guyana, their safety is important. I am of the opinion that this matter should be taken seriously.

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