Mini-bus drivers who work the Georgetown-Timehri route staged a picketing exercise this morning outside the Public Infrastructure Ministry.
The drivers complained to News Source that while they have not increased their fares in more than ten years, just about everything else for the operation of their mini-buses have seen increases.
“All we asking for is $60 more. The current fare is $240 and we want to take it to $300 and we believe we should be given that permission especially with the current gas prices”, one driver begged.
He explained that over the past few years, fuel prices and spare parts prices have been increasing steadily and with the government’s ban on used tyres, drivers are forced to only purchase new tyres and the cost for those are more than three times the cost that they paid previously for a used tyre.
The protesting drivers said they want the government to remove some of the taxes from the fuel so that the price could be stabilized. Once that is done, they assured that there will be no need for them to seek an increase at this time.
The drivers are also asking that in addition to route 42, the government considers adding a route 42-A, which will cover those buses that do not go all the way to Timehri but rather run up to the Grove area.
One of the drivers explained that in many instances, the “short of Grove buses”, would end up plying the full route and undersell them by charging travelers reduced fares.
“When they asked us to remove the plenty colours off the buses, we complied. When they start the thing with the used tyre them, we ain’t fight. We comply. Oww we ain’t asking for much, we just asking for enough to help maintain our family too”, one of the protesting drivers told News Source.