July 22, 2011

Will the new bus rates get approved?

Today may be the day when the Executive and the more than 1,000 members of the local Mini-bus Association find out if they have received approval for new fare increases from the Transport Board.{{more}}

Until they do receive an increase, drivers are implementing the rates which were proposed by the Board in 2005, but were not used in some areas.

President of the Association Anthony Bacchus indicated to SEARCHLIGHT that although he is optimistic that their requests will be met, he is uncertain if they would receive an answer today.

“I don’t know if they (the Transport Board) completed their investigations or whatever they had to do, but we told them Friday, so we will check with them and see what happens.”

At a special meeting on Thursday, July 14, at the Arnos Vale sporting complex, in the presence of Commissioner of Police Keith Miller, in his capacity as chairman of the local Transport Board, and a number of other senior police officials, the association members raised some other concerns they had apart from the fare increase, with some of them finalized and agreed.

These included a ‘Pay As You Enter’ system, the removal of private vehicles from the parking lot at the ‘little Tokyo’ bus terminal, and the ceasing of conductors standing in vehicles, among others.

Bacchus indicated that as far as he is aware, drivers are still not satisfied with the implementation of the 2005 fares, since, he claims, they are still not profitable.

He also noted that the short drop fare for rides one mile or less is causing some conflict, since there are no markers to indicate one mile along the roads.

“…Who knows when the mile comes up? If the driver tells the passenger it’s a mile, they are not going to believe… so there is great confusion with the travelling public and the drivers where this is concerned.”

“This is one of the reasons in the new proposal, we are asking for the two dollar short drop and do away with the dollar and the mile thing that is included in the fare right now.”

“The drivers are not satisfied. We need the new proposal to go in effect; they are just trying to go along with what the Executive of the Mini-bus Association is asking of them.”(JJ)