Govt to engage stakeholders on increased fares for Berbice hire car operators

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The Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce today revealed that it has not endorsed an increase in fares for hire cars plying the New Amsterdam to Rose Hall route.

Several hire car operators have been protesting for permission to hike their price from $200 to $300 for a trip from New Amsterdam to Rose Hall (and vice versa).

They are claiming that for the past 24 years, they have not hiked their fees but public servants have benefitted from salary increases and therefore, should be able to pay the increased rate.

But in a statement today, the Ministry explained that it has not been consulted by Berbice/Region 6 hire car drivers or any association, on the matter of an increase in fares.

The Ministry pointed out that it has noted the concerns expressed by drivers justifying the increase in fares, but contended that any change in the fare structure must be done after consultation with taxi drivers and commuters.

“Those discussions must take into consideration, the economic realities of all stakeholders,” the Ministry said.

As such, the Ministry has committed to engaging residents of the New Amsterdam to Rose Hall area and taxi drivers who ply that route to determine an amicable solution to the proposed fare increase and to determine a way forward.

A team from the Department of Consumer Affairs has begun interactions with residents and will be meeting with taxi drivers and the taxi association to develop a plan of action based on consensus.

In the interim, the Ministry made it clear that no endorsement has been given for an increase in fares, and commuters are therefore advised to continue paying the original fare.