Essequibo Coast minibus and hire car owners and drivers are calling on the authorities to render some assistance to keep the Region’s transportation sector alive, following the hardships they are facing due to the changes they are expected to make to prevent the further spread of the Coronvirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
According to the drivers at the Anna Regina Car Park, they were informed by the Police that taxis will now be allowed to take two passengers each, while minibuses will have to take half the amount they are licensed to transport due to the Coronavirus pandemic. They are claiming that due to the limited number of passengers, they cannot even come up with the money to purchase gas.
Drivers are also being asked to sanitise their vehicles regularly.
However, while the drivers are in agreement with these changes in order to keep their passengers safe, they claim that they are facing financial pressures and therefore would like the government to intervene and provide some sort of assistance.
The drivers, especially those who are renting taxis and have to pay $20,000 per week, say they may be forced to give up their trade and stay home as they will not be able to make the weekly payments.
When contacted, the President of the Minibus and Hire Car Association Mr. Nazmool Mohammed, said that while he is in full support of the new system to provide a safer environment for the traveling public, he is very disappointed that no one has come up with any plan thus far to provide assistance to the operators to keep the transport sector alive in the Region.