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NOBA: Observe 2011 Government gazetted bus fares


Minibus owners, operators and passengers are being asked to observe the 2011 government gazetted bus fares, and discard the ones being used from 2005.{{more}}

This advice was given by President of the National Omni Bus Association (NOBA) President Anthony Bacchus, as the association held a press briefing on Tuesday, November 15, at the Leeward Bus Terminal in Kingstown.

Bacchus said that the association had earlier this year urged its members, which he claimed numbered as many as 500 to use the old fares in support of those members who did not receive an increase this year.

He indicated that the call to convert to the 2011 increases was made because ‘we can’t protest forever’.

“We were in protest and we had chosen to use the 2005 fares. However, this has come to an end.

“The 2005 fares are dead. What we are now implementing is the August 2011 fares that have been gazetted by the government…. We are appealing to all conductors and van drivers to enforce these fares and comply; we are asking the passengers as well to comply with the fares.”

The President said that there was some confusion caused with some van drivers who had been sticking with the new rates as opposed to the old.

He noted that he hoped that any confusion caused by the old and new rates would be put to rest when everyone accepts the 2011 fares.

Bacchus indicated, however, that there would be no punishment or disciplinary action taken against drivers who do not comply with the call to implement the new fares, but urged NOBA members to remain on the same page.

“If a driver chooses to charge less than the (2011) gazetted fares it creates confusion, because a passenger would come into a van where the driver charges the 2005 fare…. Not all the time they would catch the same van; he might catch another van where the driver charge the 2011 fare and when he goes in there and the conductor charge the right fare it causes confusion.

“But if all the drivers hold one head, everything will run smoothly.”

The change in bus fares was just one of six points that Bacchus, accompanied by acting Public Relations Officer William Ralph, addressed during the press briefing.

The Association unveiled their official stickers to the public which are to be displayed by all members at the front of their vehicles.

The call for passengers to pay as they enter the vehicles was also raised, citing insurance purposes and convenience as reasons.

Training programs for bus conductors and the introduction of bus tickets were also discussed, and drivers and owners were also urged to post the 2011 fares in their vehicles for all to see.

“We want everyone to ride in safety and comfort. We don’t want to cause confusion between the drivers and the travelling public.

I am asking you to cooperate with NOBA for the betterment of transportation services in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” Bacchus said.