Gov’t to introduce river taxi service for Berbicians

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By Fareeza Haniff

River taxi[www.inewsguyana.com] – The APNU+AFC government has decided to introduce a River Taxi Service for residents on the West and East Bank of Berbice, which is in direct response to the refusal of officials from the Berbice Bridge Company to reduce the tolls of the Berbice River Bridge.

Government had announced a reduced toll structure which was slated to take effect on September 01, but the officials from the Company refused to implement it on the grounds that millions of dollars will be lost to investors and government did not consult with them.

The administration is providing a monthly subsidy to the Company to compensate for the loss, but this too was refused, resulting in a stalemate between the two sides.

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon told a post Cabinet media briefing on Friday, September 04, 2015 that the proposal for the river taxi was made by Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson and it was approved by Cabinet following “extensive” discussion.

The service will cater specifically to students and the elderly population.

“Cabinet approved the establishment of a river taxi service, primarily to allow for the students and the elderly who are affected in large measure by the refusal of the Berbice Bridge Company Inc to accept the government’s proposal for a lowering of the toll,” Harmon told the news conference.

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon.
Minister of State, Joseph Harmon.

He further noted that Cabinet has mandated Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan to continue discussions with officials from the Company to ensure the reduction of the toll.

“We are of the firm belief that very soon the Bridge Company, who indicated that they had referred the matter to the shareholders of the Company, that they will see the light and agree to have the toll reduced,” the Minister of State said.

He explained that government will provide the infrastructure and the regulatory framework for the implementation of the service; there will also be a pilot project and depending on the outcome, government will authorize the use of a large number of the vessels.

He made it clear that the administration will not be providing the vessels Government will not provide the vessels and a committee, comprising of representatives from the Ministries of Education, Social Cohesion, Public Security and Public Infrastructure will travel to Berbice this weekend to put in place the necessary arrangements for the passengers.

“Our focus will be ensuring the school children and the elderly get an opportunity to cross…at a reduced cost. It is our business in government to ensure that the general public…who cannot afford higher fares, that they are given this subsidy by the State,” Harmon said.

It is not yet clear how soon this service will be implemented.

13 COMMENTS

  1. As someone noted they are water taxis operating on the Hudson River transporting folks between NY and NJ so this concept is not a backward step. However what the GOG should do is not run the service but rather set out the conditions , especially safety under which such services should e provided, and not only on the Berbice River, and let private operators provide the service. The government’s role should be to enforce the rules to ensure passenger safety and fair competition. Meanwhile the issue of renegotiating the terms of the shareholder and management structure of the public/private partnership Berbice Bridge company still needs to be pursued as a matter of urgency. Not because the Jagdeo regime permitted the rape of Guyanese means that the Coalition government must just accept the nonsense. Resetting a bad contract is not going to scare new investors, especially with a professional public relations campaign.

  2. My dear God, another clown in town. When the circus leave, don’t forget to go with it. Enough of your actors are here already

  3. Granger the biggest disgrace to Guyana.river taxi? May be canoe next.Only fools will think along that road.Why dont you ask Berbicians to vote between the bridge and river taxi.All those in favour of ferry certainly dont live in Berbice.

  4. Gomanie,where are you living? You are either a ppp stooge or living under a rock. There are Water Taxis operating on the Hudson River between NY and Nj. Get a life!

  5. The best comment ever lol .lol . .let it out amen .lol . the fools using fire stick fo see things Lol . . don’t choke remember Guyana going down …under apnu/afc

  6. I think this is a brilliant plan.why wasn’t this implemented before.It will certainly decrease the amount of ppl who depend on the bridge for a speedy crossing and show the berbice bridge company that they are not the only option .Maybe then they will agree to lower the toll so they can get business.

  7. RIVER TAXI…..Wait let me go spit out my water before I choke on laughing at these first set of cartoon clowns! RIVER TAXI still exists in 2015? HAHAH! Is Guyana going back to the ancient 1920s….Haroon and patterson must be living in the Guyana Jungle as baboons -not to realized that such services is not acceptable in today society. This is the big cover up from their fail promises during election campaign….they are starting to smell the beans and realized that they cannot force a private investor to take loss because they investor can turn around and sue them in the law of court…..Guyana heading under the berbice river with Captain Granger the leader…..LOL

  8. Great ! Later, introduce large vessel/ pantoon service to cross motor vehicles . Let them continue to dream ” big Loot ” .They are nothing more than” bare- face ” bandits .Let them keep their LONDON BRIDGE!…..These people have no shame or concern for the growth of the country much less for the daily struggles of their fellow Guyanese . They are truly heartless !

  9. Im so elated and excited by this move of the government it hard to curtail my excitement. This is the right move to correct not all but some of the injustice that been done to the less fortunate people of East and west berbice. The last administration had no heart for the people of those regions. I hope they can see (the people of those regions who supported the pppc) who’s looking out for them and have their backs. Since the government gets no return out of the bridge, they have nothing to loose so let all feel the squeeze and and see who bows.

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