Residents of Coldingen, Non Pariel, Enterprise being exploited by mini-buses

Dear Editor,
Kindly publish this letter as a formal complaint on the plight we are suffering concerning transportation to and from work. Almost all the buses in Coldingen/ Non Pariel/Enterprise take and demand $200 per person each way when the regular fare is ($120) $240 return.  We have no choice but to comply and pay $200 for each trip.

I am a single parent employed with the Government of Guyana.  I am travelling on a daily basis five days per week to work in Georgetown.  My salary is under $50,000 per month.  I am very much ashamed and embarrassed with the transportation system in this area, Enterprise/Non Pariel/Coldingen and other parts of the East Coast and the country as a whole.  It is most frustrating.  So many vehicles in Guyana yet still we the workers are left for hours on the roadways.  We are left stranded on the East Coast parks, bus parks/Camp Street and North Road etc.  Why?  In the mornings – bus conductors as well as drivers tell us the passengers point blank “we going short”, “we nah going town.”  Meaning they are going up to BV and from BV they then head to Georgetown.   They would then sort out passengers who comprise school children and short drops which are between $60 and $100. We are left to suffer on the road from as early as 6.30am in the mornings sometimes until 09.30am for transportation.

In the afternoons they tell us point blank if you pay $200, jump in the bus.  Many a days we are left to suffer in this way and this causes lateness to work and workers are left at the mercy of supervisors coupled with the long traffic jam on the East Coast Highway in the vicinity of Apex School at Montrose daily in the morning hours and the continuation of other schools on Carifesta Avenue, and other schools leading to Camp Street, etc. which also (includes stop lights before reaching North Road and which we can cope with).  The problems could have been solved if bus  conductors and drivers fetch their own area people.  At the end of the day you spend almost a $1,000 on transport trying to reach home.  Not many people can afford this.  When it is early you have to walk in that long road to Enterprise.  It is a disgusting, harassing and frustrating problem.

We are calling on the relevant authorities to please help to adjust the situation with the bus fares – (commuters must not pay more than the required fares).  Another suggestion is that maybe the Government can implement public buses at parks for various countrywide areas.  The people waiting on transport on the road are suffering to the extent of being disciplined and given letters of late coming etc. Working mothers, pregnant mothers, children and aged workers also suffer.

The afternoon is no better. A bus will stop but when you reach the destination the conductors say $200 is the fare.  The bus conductors shout at you saying ‘short short, Better Hope’.  They make several trips to Better Hope and then do all the short drops until they reach Coldingen/ Non Pariel/ Enterprise.

On weekends the same buses which refuse passengers from Monday to Friday are begging for the same passengers and begging for them to travel when they see you at the bus park.  We are fed up and confused right now as our salary is too small to take a special taxi to and from work at $2,000 for a single trip.  We the workers are suffering as buses still continue with the short drops and increased fares of $200 and nothing is being done.
Yours faithfully,
(Name and address supplied)

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