The President of the United Minibus Union (UMU), Eon Andrews has made it clear that the reign and dictatorship that minibus operators have over passengers on the various bus parks are winding down as the Business Ministry partners with the Union to establish a hotline number for passengers to make their complaints.
The statement made by the Union head came in light of complaints that passengers are not only being over charged but are being over loaded in minibuses on the various bus parks.
According to him, this is just one of the measures being discussed to cushion the disorderly behaviour often demonstrated by minibus drivers and conductors.
He revealed that he is aware that drivers have been drafting their very own fare structures and demanding that passengers pay those amounts, a situation he described as unlawful.
It is because of this, Andrews said, he hopes the Business Ministry places a special mark on the new fare structure, which will ease some contention presently ongoing.
Beginning September, passengers will be required to pay an additional $20 to minibus operators, who ply their trade in the various routes.
According to the Business Ministry, a new fare structure will be made available to minibus drivers, who will then be responsible for displaying same in their buses.
Although the call for a fare increase came at a time where fuel prices were constantly escalating, Andrews had noted that the call for the additional money was not only due to the fuel prices, but several other issues.
However, the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG) has labelled the $20 across-the-board increase in minibus fares, a burden on the beleaguered working people.
The union on Monday last expressed its dissatisfaction over the fare hike, expressing that “it was disheartening for us that the Government, it seemed, did not take cognisance of what impacts the increases would have on the pockets of the working people.”
According to FITUG, although it accepts that the operators have found themselves in a difficult position, taking into consideration the ban on used tyres and increases in the costs of licences and fitness in addition to other increases, the new increases, depending on the route, could work out to as much as a 25 per cent hike in fares.
Questioning the promised ‘Good Life’ from the incumbent coalition Administration, FITUG said the new fare structure would now require workers and their families, depending on the number of buses they would have to take, to fork out more per month on transportation.