Threat by minibus operators is mere bullyism; Benn promises free transportation

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Minister of Public Works, Robeson Benn updating members of the media on the new  system. [GINA Photo]
Minister of Public Works, Robeson Benn updating members of the media on the new system. [GINA Photo]
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Over the next few days the Ministry of Public Works will be offering free minibus services to commuters on the East Bank of Demerara, the West Bank of Demerara, the East Coast of Demerara and the West Coast of Demerara.

According to the subject Minister, Robeson Benn the decision was made after minibus operators plying the number 44, East Coast Demerara route threatened massive strike action over a proposed 100 percent fare increase.

Minister Benn said he was informed that minibus operators have been forcing commuters to pay the increased fares while in some cases others are being made to pay full fares for half way journeys.

“We have had to bring in buses free of charge before to try to alleviate the situation and to bring the operators to a position where they would consult with the relevant authorities as it relates to increasing fare.”

The Minister added that the Ministry does not want to encourage a situation where commuters are suffering as a result of a one sided action by minibus operators.

Minister Benn said commuters will be allowed to travel free of cost until there is a mutual resolution to the issue as hand.

“This will be going for as long as it takes. You may recall we had taken a position that they would not countenance an increase in fare if the price for gas had not gone beyond a $1000 per gallon; that situation has not arisen as yet.”

One of the minibuses contracted by the Ministry of Public Works. [GINA Photo]
One of the minibuses contracted by the Ministry of Public Works. [GINA Photo]
Hence, it was noted that the proposed fare increase is illegal as there has been no consultation with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Commerce.

Further, the Minister deemed the action by some minibus operators as mere bullyism and noted that his Ministry’s response is not interfering with market forces.

Meanwhile the Minister said that if the need arises more buses will be added to the fleet to ease to woes of the travelling public. Some of the minibuses have been contracted from the Knight Rider bus service. He further debunked suggestions that the action of the Ministry is in wake of threats by the Opposition of the possibility of an early election.

The Minister pointed out that similar interventions were made three times in the past and it was not during an election period.

[Extracted and modified from GINA]

5 COMMENTS

  1. Taxi service must be strictly monitored.
    They must operate within certain jurisdiction.
    We do not have enough roads to accommodate every Palm Tree bullying Taxi.
    A fixed rate should be enacted and every vehicle metered.
    After all the road use is not a right but a previlige. It is public property.

  2. I am in agreement with this idea 200%, Bobby. Only if I had the money! Some one can do so as an investment if the government does not want to where all parties will be happy.

  3. This is crazy it is time the ministry take to power out of these mini busses operators hands. The ministry can have a few buses from brazil China or Japan with some package deal, which would bring in state revenue they will be paid and the people of the country will be happy. It is time this MONOPOLY BE OVER.

  4. what a wonderful thing the Government has done can they continue on this cause commuters don’t mind paying the fare to the large buses cause atleast you know you wont be forced four in a row and noise nuisance and double fares also the minibuses have their favourite passengers on the road especially at 4 afterwork ……….its a horror on the road afterwork…………..thanks to you Government……………..

  5. the govt should go further and provide free transportation for school aged children and the elderly in the problem areas. this will not only save the suffering parents a lot of money but also make our roads safer especially with the use of the big buses.

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