I refer to the letter in the April 6 edition of SN headed `Residents of Coldingen, Non-Pareil, Enterprise being exploited by mini-buses’
The writer of that letter is a resident and public servant who travels each day to and forth from the East Coast (Enterprise/Non-Pareil/Coldingen). It was sad to read that people are forced to pay $120 and sometimes the conductor is requesting $200 one way ($240 or $400) both ways in total.
I am a regular reader of the newspapers and I really do not comment on articles, but this one caught my eyes, for several reasons (a) this is a single mother, (2) the salary she is working for (3) the unfair treatment by owners and operators of mini buses (4) this is a continuous situation all over Guyana, even in and around the city.
First, I am no expert and do not own a bus and secondly, I believe this type of behaviour can be resolved and people should not have to suffer like this.
I have visited many of the Caribbean countries and most of them have government bus services and/or private bus services, but the private is controlled and regulated through the relevant Government Ministry.
I would like to make some suggestions and I hope not only the Government of Guyana and the private sector read this letter, but also the private owners of mini buses that abuse the situation, I prefer not to use the system, as I do not think a system exists.
Here are the recommendations, even though the Caribbean has large buses that operate, I would prefer to use the Canadian system the little I know of it.
(1) The Government should invite the private sector to have privately owned buses in the city GT, East Coast and East Bank to start with or Government-owned buses.
(2) Instead of people paying at the door and having a conductor, you only need the driver.
(3) Have bus passes – like the one used in Canada/Toronto – Monthly, weekly (each pass has the Month and Year.)
(4) Have a fixed price for the pass that all can afford.
(5) Each zone or region has their own (possible by colour or Region name) – so the passengers in Linden cannot use the same as GT.
(6) Once you have a GT pass for example, you can travel all the time from one bus to other, by just showing the pass and not having to pay each time, once you are in the zone/region.
(7) Control bus parks and stops.
I can go on and on, but I think the readers will get the point and this is something that I personally believe everyone will welcome, because he/she can use a bus pass 1000 times and only have to pay at the beginning of each month (one time).
Take for example, someone paying $200 one way from East Coast, that means $400 just for working each day, what about doing other business in the city and taking buses around the city, it can cost more than $20,000 per month.
This bus pass can be purchased possibly at $15,000 and can be used many times within the valid month and this single parent can even give her child to use.
The mini bus owners can still operate if they want to, but for sure, they will have to follow a regulated and controlled system.
Workers will get to work on time and children will get to school and more elderly people will travel and feel 100% comfortable instead of in the Boom-Boom buses.
The Government and/or the private sector whoever takes up this recommendation can talk to the Canadian High Commission for more information, as I am sure, they will be happy to work with the relevant group.