August 26, 2011
NOBA calling for $2 for all short drops

Anthony Bacchus, President of the National Omnibus Association (NOBA), has made a strong call for the government to reconsider the decision not to implement the recommended $2 fee on all short drops.{{more}}

“The $2 proposal was turned down, but they implemented that passengers would pay $1 for any distance under a mile, but this less than a mile thing is causing confusion,” Bacchus told members of the media during a press briefing on Wednesday, August 24.

He was at the time responding to a question put as to a possible solution to the problem of no set fees for areas in between set destinations.

According to Bacchus, there were no mile indicators posted anywhere across the country, which was causing problems for mini-bus operators and passengers alike.

“There are no mile markings so the passengers don’t know when they have reached a mile,” he explained.

The matter was one for concern because there were no set fees put in place for certain destinations.

Bacchus, however, contended that had the $2 short drop fee been implemented, then this would have rectified the problem because it would not matter how far they traveled between points, they would pay one set fee.

Senator Julian Francis, Minister of Transport and Works, however, was of the view that routing could also be a possible solution to the issue.

“If vans are directed into particular areas, then they can work out the village rates,” he said.

He added that it would now be difficult to try to implement set rates for all the routes in the country.

“From time immemorial, there have been 28 destinations put into the mix. These were identified and were approved for the discussion (of the approval of new fees),” Francis told SEARCHLIGHT.

“If we were to go further into that discussion, we then would have to list every single village,” he contended.

Bacchus noted that he was in agreement that a ‘zoning’ system would work, as it would also ensure that vans stayed on their designated routes.

He added that it was issues such as these that his organization wanted to sit and discuss in order that the transportation system might become more efficient. (DD)