The government is not contemplating reducing the tolls for vehicles to cross the Berbice Bridge, President Bharrat Jagdeo said yesterday.
When asked if the government was considering reducing the bridge tolls, after some commuters complained that current prices are too high, the President said that as far as he was aware, most commuters had no problems paying the rates. He said that especially for private cars and minibus operators crossing the river using the bridge, the one-time toll of $2,200 toll was cheap. He said that minibus operators would especially benefit from this. The President pointed out that if a minibus had to use the ferry, it would be charged $800 for each leg of the trip in addition to charges that the operator would have to pay on the number of passengers in the bus.
This, the President said would often amount more than $2,200
Further, Jagdeo said that those who were complaining about the toll had to be reasonable. He said that it was more cost effective than when using the ferries. He admitted that it would be mainly those commuters who crossed the bridge using four-wheel drive vehicle that may feel hard done by the charges, but he suggested that these people would have to traverse the bridge using cheaper options-such as cars.
Additionally, the Head of State said that the saving of time was an important one that critics of the tolls were neglecting. Jagdeo suggested that the time persons saved using the bridge was in itself of much value since time was always money.
He emphasised that it was his government’s position to ensure that the prices were affordable, and in his view this was the case with the current fare structure, especially when considering the huge financial investment made.