The long awaited code of conduct for minibus operators has finally been approved by both the Business Ministry and the United Minibus Union (UMU).
This was revealed by the Business Ministry on its a Facebook page on Friday.
The piece of document which will seek to guide and monitor the behaviour of minibus operators takes immediate effect.
Among the areas which will be addressed is the operators’ mode of dress, language and behavior. This means that operators will not be allowed to wear inappropriate clothing, exposing themselves, use indecent language and treat passengers in a hostile manner.
In fact, operators will now be mandated to wear a uniform, along with an identification badge, which should include the name of the organization of association.
They will also be expected to help the elderly, if needed, and not force them to hurry and be seated, while at the same time treat foreigners who speak different languages in a respectable and hospitable manner.
The code of conduct also states that persons belonging to vulnerable groups such as children and the differently-able be treated with care.
The new document will also prohibit minibus drivers from making stops, except at bus stops. They will also be expected to play their music at comfortable levels for their passengers and not have derogatory images or words on the interior or exterior of the buses.
The code of conduct also reinforces other laws, with regards to overloading and others. The fare structures, according to the code of conduct must be visible to passengers.
Passengers are now being asked to contact the Guyana Police Force, should the code of conduct be violated by these operators.
The importance of having a standard code of conduct set for those operators — since the system is currently “out of control” — was reiterated by the President of the UMU, Eon Andrews during a previous interview.
Andrews pointed out that, as promised, the UMU had meetings with representatives of the various bus routes, and according to him, they all endorsed the draft Code of Conduct.
He had said that the Code of Conduct was extremely vital, especially with the potentially lucrative oil and gas sector expected to come on stream next year.
He explained that the sector would reel in tourists and other important persons who would, at some time, have need to use public transportation, whose operators are presently unprepared to be the ambassadors they ought to be.
The UMU had initially announced plans to establish a Code of Conduct for Bus Drivers back in August, 2018 when plans were revealed to increase minibus fares by $20 for 10 operating routes.
The announcement to set a standard code of conduct for public transportation operators was well received by passengers, as far too many commuters would have vented their anger on social media at the ruthless behaviour of drivers in the different routes.