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It’s a good idea to pay bus fare up front – Sheridan

It’s a good idea to pay bus fare up front – Sheridan

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While it is not compulsory for passengers to pay as they enter a mini bus, one prominent insurance agent says that it is a good idea for persons to pay up front.{{more}}

Joe Sheridan, General Manager of the Insurance Brokers, noted that as long as an individual enters a mini bus with the intention to pay, there is an implied contract that the individual will pay when they have reached their destination, making them a passenger.

Earlier last week, at a press conference, Anthony Bacchus, President of the National Omni Bus Association, claimed that persons who do not pay their fare as they enter the vehicle will not be insured in the event of an accident.

“We are encouraging everyone to now pay your fare as you enter the bus…. Passengers are not covered by the insurance unless they have paid their fare. So in the event of any accident, we want to make sure all our passengers are fully covered,” Bacchus said.

He contined: “You become a passenger once you pay your fare. If you don’t pay your fare you are not a passenger, you are just a rider.”

Sheridan, however, indicated that a person entering a mini bus enters an implied Contract of Carriage, which means the passenger makes a commitment to paying a fare.

He said that as long as an individual is a genuine fare paying passenger, although they had not paid at the beginning of the journey, compensation will be paid in the event of an accident.

“If it is an implied contract, what it means is that you are covered by virtue of the fact that you have a contract of intent between both parties.”

“It is meant to be a contract that includes a number of things; for example, it’s supposed to carry you in safety to where you are stating you expect to finish, and this is why people get frustrated when the vans turn around at different points.”

The president of the Insurance Institute of St. Vincent and the Grenadines said because of the way things are at present, there is no way to prove that the contract was agreed, or if a traveler is just a friend of the driver receiving a ride.

According to Sheridan, a pay as you enter system, in which a ticket, or another method of proof of payment is available, will make a significant difference in the way things are done.

Sheridan shared a sentiment expressed by Bacchus that paying on entering a minivan will, among other things, save time for both the passengers and the drivers, as well as erase all doubt that an individual is a passenger.

“That is where I think in principle that it is a good idea for people to pay.”

“I don’t think anyone should have an objection to paying as you enter; after all, if you get onto the van intending to pay, what’s the difference between paying at the beginning and paying at the end?”

Meanwhile, Bacchus during his press conference, touched on a number of issues that were highlighted by Sheridan, including the association’s plans for the introduction of a ticketing system.

He also spoke about what is likely to happen in the event that a van breaks down in the line of service or turns back before reaching their destinations.

“If the bus breaks down… what we would do is refund your money or call someone on the same line to come and pick up those passengers, and the money will be forwarded to the other bus.”

“The travelling public, they know the so called ‘hot vans’ that turn back sometimes…. If you pay your fare and that van turns back, please take the registration number, forward it to the police because that’s an offence… they are not supposed to turn back and keep your money.”

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