In response to calls for bus operators to reduce their fares given the decrease in the price for fuel, we recently asked Route 32 (Vreed-en-Hoop to Parika) bus operators whether they would comply. Their comments follow:

Mohammed Yusuf
Mohammed Yusuf
Mohammed Alim
Mohammed Alim

Mohammed Yusuf – ‘Let the government take back the five and eight per cent from public servants and sugar workers, then we will take back our $20. We waited too long for $20 that is not even helping us make a profit. So no I don’t think it is fair for the authorities to ask us to reduce our fare at this time.’

 Mohammed Alim – ‘With the 2005 fare structure the gas price was $500 per gallon. Then the gas price rise to $960 per gallon and we continue to work with the 2005 fare structure. Now in 2014 we get a $20 increase and the fuel price drop, now everybody crying for reduction. It is unfair to the bus operators. What they should do is check on an increase for public servants.’

 Floyd Hurdle – ‘We can’t drop the bus fare and fuel price keep jumping up and down. Plus the spare parts going up and we ain’t got control over that. If they could control that and the gas for us then we would not have a problem reducing the fare, but until then we cannot.’

 Ausgurally Yucub – ‘We are not changing the fare structure unless the prices for spare parts drop. We waited for almost ten years before we get to increase the fare by $20 and now they calling for a drop, not at all because that would be unfair to us. Everything around us raising anyway and that is what we want the public to know.’

Haroon Rashid – ‘Right now we only get two trips for a day even though we working as early as 6.30 am. In 2014 we negotiate with the government and we get $20 more. We signed a Memorandum of Understanding that we can’t increase the fares nor can they ask us to decrease.

Spare parts like tyres are also expensive. For instance we use to pay $30 to air up one wheel, now its $40 to $60. To plug a wheel jump from $100 to $300 and $400. Everything gone up, when you go to the shop everything gone up. Another factor

Ausgurally Yucub
Ausgurally Yucub

too is that we have to wait five and six hours at the park before we get to load up the bus. We make about $6,000 on one trip. When we take out $3,000 for gas, what is left to pay the conductor and the driver?’

Rickford Ifill – ‘I would not support a drop in bus fare, because we were working under the condition of not having a raise of fare for about ten years. Everything else has been going up like spare parts, tyres and engine oil. Now all these things are

Floyd Hurdle
Floyd Hurdle

necessary to operate our transportation service as minibus operators.’

 Ramanand Seenarine – ‘Concerning the fare, it is unnecessary for us to drop it. We going with the normal system of the $20 increase. What about VAT and the ferry, is bus alone got to decrease? If we down tools, nothing can’t happen, the country would shut down because most persons need our service to get to work. I also suggest a system where passengers pay before they enter the bus.’

 Partab Singh – ‘I don’t support a decrease because everything else going up like mechanic cost and spare parts. We working in the line system and it takes about five hours before we get a load. If we decrease the fares what will we really be making? We will not be able to pay conductors; putting another man on the bread line.’

Tawhir Mohammed – ‘There is no guarantee that the price for gasoline will stay stable for the next five years. If that can be guaranteed then we wouldn’t mind dropping our fares. What we have is a situation whereby we have to raise fares when the gas price raises and likewise when it drops we have to drop. But the cost for spare parts killing us, along with other costs to maintain the bus on the road.’

Haroon Rashid
Haroon Rashid

Roger Ross – ‘I don’t agree with a decrease in fares, the reason being that we have waited for a long time to have a $20 increase, after so many negotiations with the relevant authorities. During this time, we never knew that there would have been a drop in fuel prices. Also, the prices for spare parts and accessories for vehicles are still high.’

Rickford Ifill
Rickford Ifill
Ramanand Seenarine
Ramanand Seenarine
Partab Singh
Partab Singh
Tawhir Mohammed
Tawhir Mohammed
Roger Ross
Roger Ross

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