President of the United Minibus Union Eon Andrews has called for stricter enforcement of the safety measures in place for public transportation.
In fact, he believes there should be a revision of the current measures at it relates to the public transport system, but, until then, he urged that the existing protocols be enforced.
“I have seen bus drivers without mask, I have seen them allowing people to come in the bus without a mask. They must refuse persons who are coming into their buses without a mask, and the passenger has a responsibility also where he ought not to go in a bus if there are passengers in there without mask,” Andrews said, noting that there must be stiffer penalties for persons who flout these measures.
“The fine needs to be harder…they are too soft…we need to put systems in place that at least once or twice, you lose your licenses…,” he contended.
But Traffic Chief Ramesh Ashram said while the Guyana Police Force is playing its part in the Covid-19 fight, much of the responsibility must be accepted by the general public.
“Why does an adult person have to get someone to tell them which bus to go in… why must we tell a person not to into an overload bus,” the Traffic Chief said.
Meanwhile, the UMU President there should a training or educational programme that will prepare operators of the public transport system for what is happening during the pandemic.
“Their irrational behaviour is fueled by greed and indiscipline, and we can’t run away from that. So there has to be training…,” he said.
But on the same note, he lamented that “When the topic of bus fares come up around the parks, you may need the entire National Park to keep that meeting. But if you were to discuss things like these, they are always busy… the only way they come off the road is when the traffic police lock them up.”
The new Covid-19 measures stipulate that public transportation operators shall not carry more than 75% of the number of passengers which the vehicle is licensed to carry.
Moreover, everyone is required to wear a mask.