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Attention all commuters and minibus owners

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11.FEB.11

Editor: First, I must thank everyone who read my letter in last Friday’s paper. I feel that this letter will be of much importance to all of us to really identify a close breakdown of expenses that all minibus owners experience each and every day, and how important it is for all minibus owners to come together and establish an association in order to benefit from our profession.{{more}} As we all know, the economic situation is very tough, and it is getting tougher everyday, unless we all come together and take the necessary steps that will benefit us now and in the future. The majority of us might imagine that you can just jump in your minibus, put gas or diesel and drive it everyday, just like that, and make money, and everything will be alright. Well, I have news for those who thought it’s like that. Truly speaking, it’s definitely not that easy.

Now, basically the average minibus owner can earn $9,600 a day before diesel or gas or any other expenses. Some owners earn less, if you know what I mean. NOW, PLEASE PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THIS BREAKDOWN, THAT VAN OWNERS EXPERIENCE EVERYDAY. KEEP IN MIND THAT THESE ARE JUST THE MAIN ITEMS THAT WILL BE LISTED.



MONTHLY EARNINGS BEFORE DIESEL and GAS $9600



MONTHLY EXPENDITURE FOR DIESEL & GAS AT AN AVERAGE OF $130 PER DAY, 6 DAYS A WEEK – $3120



CONDUCTORS EARNINGS WEEKLY $250-$300; MTHLY $1000- $1200



SERVICE MONTHLY: OIL $160; OIL FILTER $30; DIESEL OR GAS FILTERS $30 AND UP; AIR FILTER $30; BRAKES $300 AND UP; BUSHINGS $300; TIRES $1500 AND UP.



Now these are the basic items/parts an owner will have to buy every month. When you total all these expenditures and subtract the amount from your monthly earnings, you will be left with a balance of $3,130 or $2,930, according to the conductor’s pay. Now keep in mind if these parts were genuine they will cost much more than is listed above. Please don’t forget to subtract the driver’s pay ($350), if you have one. I didn’t include shocks or parts for a gear box or differential or engine. God forbid that an owner might have to add any one of these items to their monthly expenditures. That owner will be in a deficit.

Let’s say an owner whose only income is from the earnings of his minibus, and has a family, how can he or she survive after doing such a great service for their country? Even an owner who has a second income has difficulties. These are exactly the reasons why we witness a lot of repossessions of minibuses.

With the constant rise in the price of parts, taxes and diesel, we the owners cannot continue with this predicament. So I am urging all owners to encourage your drivers as well as yourself to come together now and form an association in order for us to do better for ourselves and families and to provide a better service for the commuters of SVG. Please pay attention for a meeting to be announced for all owners and drivers.

Thank you, Code Red.

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