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Improperly trained conductors causing confusion about van fares

Improperly trained conductors causing confusion about van fares

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Improperly trained conductors and those who show no responsibility for their jobs are causing confusion in the minds of the travelling public about minibus fares.

President of the National Omni-Bus Association (NOBA) Anthony ‘Code Red’ Bacchus shared this view with SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday, adding that in his 10 years as president of NOBA, he has realized that passengers do not have a problem paying the prescribed fare.

“…But, the … major problem is conductors who show no responsibility to their job and just want to do things their way…,” Bacchus said.

He accused many conductors of not knowing the correct fares, not having a conductor’s licence and charging passengers any fare they feel like. The NOBA president also said many mini-bus owners and operators run their vehicles “for fame” and not as a business.

According to Bacchus, the problem arises when passengers who have previously paid a lower incorrect fare are charged the correct fare by another operator.

He noted that as president of NOBA he felt it was his responsibility to sensitize the public about the new fares which have been passed into law since August, 2011.

“My responsibility is to sensitize the public exactly what the fare is, so they could know whether they are getting a break or they are getting…overcharged.….”

He noted that while it is not illegal to undercharge passengers, he would like for minibus operators to stick to a standard fare so that the public is not confused.

Bacchus is of the view that conductors play an important role in correcting the problem.

“They should have knowledge of the fares. A lot of … vans they just pick up any persons, put them on a van to be a conductor. The conductor has no knowledge; he charges them whatever.”

Bacchus is calling for conductors to be sensitized about their jobs before being allowed working on vans. He said a workshop should be held to teach them about fares, the areas in which they work, customer affairs and zero tolerance of substance abuse during working hours.

“As of right now they just go to the licence office take a picture, pay $10-15 dollars and get a conductor licence,” he added.

Bacchus told SEARCHLIGHT that the most problematic areas in terms of incorrect fares are the Kingstown to Arnos Vale and Kingstown to Villa routes.

“It’s becoming overbearing from 2011 to now…prices of fuel and so forth keep going up and a lot of drivers are coming to me and saying ‘Code Red, we cannot continue to do this because …a person give me two dollars they looking back for fifty cents, when the fare is two dollars,’ so it come like you defeating your purpose. So, I am asking the public to know the fare is $2 from town to Arnos Vale, not a dollar or a dollar fifty,” he noted.

Bacchus also asked that the travelling public comply by paying the correct fares (please see fares at right), because they are not being robbed.(CM)

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