Jul 20, 2008 News Comments Off on Minibus conductors accused of ripping off passengers
Residents living in Mahaica, who utilise public transportation on a regular basis, have accused minibus drivers and conductors of taking advantage of the fare increase issue.
Some passengers explained that, although they understand and accept the fare increase, the minibus drivers and conductors of the route 44 minibuses are charging them more than they should.
Before the fare increase, the normal charge from Mahaica to Georgetown was $180; but, according to one passenger, Sally Singh, who lives at Good Hope, Mahaica, the conductors are now demanding $240.
The Guyana Public Transportation Association (GPTA) had announced that all minibus fares would be increased by $20. However, according to the passenger, from all indications, it seems as if the Mahaica fares have increased by $60, since the conductors are demanding $240 instead of $200.
Singh, who works in Georgetown, said that she is confused as she does not know what to do about the situation, since she cannot afford so much more.
She explained that if persons refuse to pay the additional money, then the minibus drivers would not carry them in their buses, and at times would even insult them for not paying the fare demanded.
This has since resulted in most people being left stranded on the road.
Efforts to contact the Guyana Public Transportation Association (GPTA) for a comment on the matter proved futile.
When the GPTA announced the fare increase, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, along with the Finance Ministry, had urged the general public not to pay more.
However, the minibus operators contend that the Government does not have the authority to give the GPTA permission for a fare increase, since there is no price control in place.
The Commerce Ministry had earlier noted that there will be an increase in minibus fares when the price for gas reaches $1,000.
Now that the price has surpassed $1,000 at most filling stations, the ministry still refuses to sanction an increase, as they explained that the price remains at less than a $1,000 at all GUYOIL stations.
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