The presence of touts on the Route 31- West Bank to Georgetown and Route 32- Parika to Georgetown minibus parks is once again causing distress to bus owners who say they want them off the parks for good.
Recently, one bus owner visited this newspaper and related her experience with what she calls “a well-known menace on the park.”
The woman who spoke on the condition of anonymity told Stabroek News that last Saturday her husband was locked up by ranks at the Stabroek Outpost and placed on $5000 after he tried to defend himself from the tout. “My husband was sitting in the front passenger seat and this tout come around asking if the bus going to Parfait Harmonie and my husband said no.”
“The tout end up pushing he hand at the side of the driver seat and he grab all the money my husband had and run away with it. By the time me husband coulda loose out he seatbelt to get to the tout he had already run away and me husband end up grabbing a cutlass and hitting the tout with it,” she said.
According to the woman, a large crowd gathered around her husband to “beat him” and this gave the tout a chance to run away and he eventually returned with a police officer who came and arrested her husband.
“Imagine they (police) come and arrest me husband for trying to fight for his own money. They end up putting he on $5000 bail and I had to find $20000 for a lawyer because he have to appear at court…”
“This is really frustrating for us bus owners. Imagine you work so hard for your money and these touts come and take it away from you.
They does even come and pull out the bus keys from the ignition when you don’t give them work.” To this end, she said that she was calling on the relevant authorities to rid the parks, not only those two parks, of touts. “We just want the police to come and give us some assistance because every time we go to them they never helping we. Wah kind of justice you could get? They need to remove all of these touts because they are dangerous,” she added.
Last year this newspaper had reported that several passengers had also voiced concerns about the touts’ presence. One woman was quoted as saying that, “As soon as you go to catch a bus they does run up to you and start pulling and tugging you to put you in the bus that they loading,” she said.