With the introduction of a new fare structure on the Essequibo Coast, it now appears that being a registered member of the Essequibo Minibus and Hire Car Association is compulsory.
Late last month, more than forty hire car and bus operators became registered members.
Secretary of the association, Mr. Nateram said that a photocopied fare structure would not be authentic. He pointed out that persons must first be registered members before they can obtain an original structure, signed by the association.
“The chairman has to sign on to it, because if you give persons and they don’t sign on, they can photocopy it and say they are a member. When you register, you will have a typed out structure that is initialed by the chairman of the association, which is legal and authentic.” Said Nateram.
Kaieteur News understands that prior to the introduction of the new fare structure; there was a functioning association with less than half the minibus and car drivers.
The association’s secretary pointed out that being a registered member is now compulsory since the intervention of the Ministry of Business. “Persons never wanted to become members of the association, it’s a must now, because the ministry of business has intervened saying that you have to become a member of the association before you can be issued with a fare structure.”
Earlier this year, drivers on the Essequibo Coast had been making multiple complaints of alleged police harassment. Drivers made claims that they were ‘harassed’ after being found without the fare structure in their vehicles. Nateram pointed out that the benefit of being a part of the association is that representation can be made on behalf of drivers. He went on to say, “We recently had a very successful meeting with the commander, and she made it clear that if you have information call her, and she will deal with the matter.”
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