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The Minibus fare

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Tue, Aug 23. 2011

Editor: There has been some increase to the bus fare in some areas. This, of course, will make operational costs a little easier and will help in strengthening the profitability of the business.{{more}} However, those operators on the far north of the island have felt they have not received enough increase. It is so unfortunate that the president of the minibus association has to come publicly and apologize, claiming that a mistake was made in the negotiations.

Over the years, those in the farthest north of the island have not been represented by the Minibus Association. For many times, the benefit has been for other operators. Thus, for those in North Leeward, requesting a large increase may be justified from their point of view, but consider the passengers’ point of view. While I recognize the arguments for those operating in the north of the island, we have to also be conscious of the fact that it will definitely be very hard for passengers to pay, in some cases, $3 increase one way, which works out to be $6 per day.

Imagine someone who travels daily having to find $6 more each day to pay or $30 per week more and $120 monthly more, or in some cases a total of over $300-plus monthly, just for transportation alone. This will indeed make it difficult.

I strongly recommend a meeting between the transport board and the minibus association, where they can look at the operational cost and how it can be reduced. I believe that a reduction in the import duties on spare parts and tyres be looked at. This, I know, will help in the reduction of the operational cost. Let us hope that the price of fuel will go down; and remain down, thus there would be a lesser operational cost.

Finally, I still strongly maintain that many vans need competition, so I would urge the government to purchase some buses and operate them and also that someone, or a company, operate a ferry service, especially in the north of the island. Thank you.

Kennard King

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