[www.inewsguyana.com] – The water taxi service, which Government implemented, as a direct response to the ‘cry’ of residents of Regions 5 and 6, is progressing quite well, as thousands are making full use of the opportunity.
The major users of the bridge, hailing from these two regions had complained of the high toll of the Berbice River Bridge, and as promised, long before elections, the now Coalition Government is making good on its commitment to offer reprieve in this regard.
Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure Annette Ferguson, at a recent press conference, indicated that thus far, more than 13,600 passengers had utilised the service.
“Between the period of September 21-26, we had a total of 5,264 passengers (4,109 adults and 1,155 children and pensioners); for September 27-October 03, a total of 8,377 passengers (6,800 adults and 1,577 children and pensioners), totalling 13,641 passengers who have utilised the river taxis for the period September 21 to October 3,” Minister Ferguson explained.
She added that whilst the media is apprised of the contentions of the minibus operators, who ply Route 56, the bridge run, deliberations are ongoing between herself and the Minibus Association, to address pertinent concerns. The Minister added that, she intends to meet with the association’s members before the end of this week.
“The bus operators have reported the concern of losing income, on a daily basis, since the reintroduction of the river taxis…I am advancing a proposal with the Minister of Public Security to have their road service licence extended beyond its current boundary,” Minister Ferguson explained.
The Granger-led Administration, whilst in opposition, had expressed concerns for the high toll placed on the citizenry to cross the Berbice River Bridge, which was constructed via a public-private partnership.
Since taking office, the new Government has made proposals to subsidise for the cost of the toll reduction, which would have seen a steady decrease in tolls for commuters, thereby bringing relief. However, the proposal to the Berbice River Bridge Corporation was rejected, and wanting to honour the commitment made, Government implemented a water taxi service for the complaining residents. [GINA]