[www.inewsguyana.com] – After months of negotiations and setbacks, the APNU+AFC administration and the Berbice Bridge Company Incorporated (BBCI) have finally reached an agreement to slash the tolls for vehicles crossing the bridge.
According to a release from the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, the Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, has reached an agreement with the BBCI and will be signing a contract with the company in the coming week.
“The agreement, which covers the provision of a Government subsidy to BBCI, will take effect from January 1, 2016,” the release stated.
BBCI had earlier rejected a proposal by the Government to provide a $36M subsidy in exchange for the lowering of the tolls.
BBCI had argued that if it had accepted the proposed deal, it runs the risk of having to file for insolvency and made a counter proposal to increase the tolls by a substantial amount.
Government had pushed for the BBCI to reduce the toll for passenger cars and buses from $2,200 to $1,900, a 13.6 percent decline.
Simultaneously, the toll for all other types of vehicles was supposed to be reduced by 10 percent. It is unclear whether the initial proposal remains on the table.
I would like to see the river taxis working on some prescribed schedules and owned by private operators, would also like the emergence of the food outlets on both sides of the river(rosignol and newamsterdam)
This Government is trying to fool fool the common man.
Bridge toll gone from treasury. Granger will leave this country bankrupt and once again Jagdeo has to build it from scratches.
Now you guys are in full control of all the departments and your boys everywhere. Please understand that the common man had so much expectations when he voted.
I think the coalition made a costly political blunder with this one. I strongly doubt whether the campaign trail promise to lower the bridge toll was meant to allow the government to pick up the tab, because after the coalition got elected it ran into problems trying to lower the tolls after stout resistance from the other minor investors.
It was only after this resistance that, in order to save face, the government decided to come up with the idea of paying the difference between what bridge user pay and what bridge owners demand.
I doubt if the coalition knew it had to pay tell private bridge owners money, even as a subsidy, that it would have made such a campaign offer.
The question we now have to ask is what will happen to the ferry boat service? Will the coalition still subsidize them? If yes, this whole idea was bad, just like so many bad ideas we have seen from the coalition. It is like we went from a corrupt government to a clumsy government.
This is a WIN-LOSE situation!
WINNERS: The small investors – aka Jagdeo buddies – who became the majority owners of the Berbice Bridge will continue to receive money and continue to own the bridge built by taxpayers. With Bobby now holding the biggest stake among private investors, Jagdeo has to be smiling all the way to the bank.
LOSERS: The taxpayers who include bridge users, because even if the cost to cross the bridge is, say, $500, and John Doe pays $300, the government is actually taking money from taxpayers, who include John Doe, to pay that $200 difference.
In short, John Doe is still paying the $200 via the government, because the government has to find that $200 from somewhere and government’s prime source of income is TAXATION!
Taxpayers should ask the government when the bridge management will start repaying the blasted broke ass NIS!
What a waste of tax payer’s money!
The PNC has 101 ways to run Guyana into bankruptcy.
I can not see how lowering the Toll by 10% for the private cars will help the poorer class.This is only going to save money for the rich.It is like the 50% for APNU+AFC
Ministers and 5% for the rest.
APNU+AFC government is only making the rich richer and the poor poorer.
I will like you to show me how lowering the Toll will benefit the poor.