May 30, 2009 News
The General Minibus Association of Guyana, has announced that minibus fares will be increased from June 15. President of the association, Lylon Weithers, said that bus fares were reduced promptly when the fuel price went down previously, and that discussions on VAT exempted essential spare parts were expected to be ongoing, but this was not the reality.
It was pointed out that, “What is clear is that the administration was only interested in the bus fares being reduced.”
Fuel prices have begun to increase again and is currently close to $800 per gallon and “the voices in the administration are silent. Only when we announce increased bus fares then we know that these people are still alive.”
The minibus fares will be increased to where they were at the last fare increase.
All short drops will go up to $80 from $60; South Ruimveldt fares will go up to $100 from $80; All Primary School children will remain the same -Secondary-School-children-$60, but Sundays and holidays full fare.
Last November, Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Manniram Prashad, along with the presidents and representatives from the General Minibus Association (GMA) and the Guyana Public Transportation Association (GPTA), struck a deal with the Ministry and reversed the minibus fares after it was increased as a result of the escalating fuel prices.
The agreement was to reverse the fare structure since the price of fuel had dropped to $770, even reaching as low as $555.
The Administration and the minibus associations have long been at odds over minibus fares to the point that the Commerce Minister said that legislation to have the minibus operators and taxis regulated by the Public Utilities Commission, would be a last resort. There have been concerns expressed by senior Government officials in recent times about the difficulty in having minibus and taxi operators adjust the fares in response to fuel price adjustments.
Fuel is the major expenditure for operators. When fuel prices came down from above $1,000 per gallon to $777 per gallon, operators were hesitant to reduce their fares.
After some lengthy discussion with the Ministry amid public outcry, some of the operators agreed to reduce their fares.
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