you know you still safe. And is not nothing much

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you know you still safe. And is not nothing much

Poslaťod god7manu55 » 19 Máj 2017 18:22

By Rehana Ashley AhamadJust recently, the United Minibus Union announced that it will be standing firm on its decision to have minibus fares raised by $20. But is it really justified?Most of the commuters and not minibus operators, feel that increases are justified.They believe that the hike should only be applied to the “line buses”, and that the short drop fares should be fixed with much consideration.“What they should do is add the $20 only to them fellers who does wait in the lines. I know for a fact that sometimes even hours does pass them there. It’s not a wise thing to raise the short drop fares though”.AffordabilityAs there are those who agree with the hike, there are also those who believe that the hike in fares is just unreasonable.Before thinking about raising the fare, we have to consider poor commuters, those who can hardly afford the price as it is at present.“I can’t afford the hike. I working with the Ministry of Public Works and I don’t get paid a whole lot, plus I am a single mother. I could hardly afford transportation for my two children,” a route 45 commuter said.“I’m a poor woman, and I understand that everybody trying to make a living, and we can’t be unreasonable.I know a friend, he get a bus, sometimes he does barely reach a $3000, it might seem like that and all is a lot, but we got to ask we self, when we get that same $3000, wah it could do. I know for a fact he family struggling. He got to pay installments, buy goods, clothes, things for school assignments, plus cater for damaged spare parts and all that. So I mean at least for those who can pay the extra $20, have a heart,” one Ms. Singh lamented.Fares should include more than gasolineMinibus operators are saying that the increase in fares is not because of the rise in gasoline price alone, since the cost of spare parts has all gone up considerably.Trisha Persaud, a route 42 conductress pointed out that there is also unnecessary harassment by the police.“They does want pull we in for too smooth tyres, but that is the only kind you get. Police does want play strict and pull you over, and you does got to cater for a small piece for them too,” Persaud said.She also lamented that “the traffic on the East Bank Demerara public road call for a lot of gasoline money”.Commenting on government’s latest initiative to have the gas price remain stable, Persaud said that while that is a good venture, it only applies to the Guyoil gas stations, and that a vehicle may not always be in the vicinity of those stations, resulting in them having to still pay the increased price.GuyOil has been out of fuel for several days now.Hotplate busesNonetheless, as for the hot plate minibuses, they seem to be the ones who are thriving in the business.A friend of mine who was once the conductor of a hotplate bus noted that he used to take home sometimes $7000 or more per day.He revealed to me that the first thing one has to do before “officially” becoming a hotplate bus, is become friends with as many police officers as possible “so if you get pull over, you know you still safe. And is not nothing much, you just give them a li’l $2000; that don’t hut yuh pocket so much,” he said.“I know how fuh hustle, so sometimes I does get more money than the driver. We does just give de owner of de buss he “legal” share and de overload money is we own. But only certain people we does pick up though. We used to park by them containers, nah far from de Ministry place deh, and go look fuh we passengers. We does get regulars, them lil pickney,” he added.Hotplate minibus operators are basically those who choose to disobey the law and just drive by at these parks, and quickly tout an overloaded bus of passengers.“Them is the ones that the police does take bribes from. They get them own parks. Like the scattered minibuses on the 45 park, and the hotplate park at de side of the fire station,” a “line bus” driver said.School children and transportationMeanwhile, it is no secret that school children are the ones finding it the hardest to be transported. This is because of the reduced fares for uniformed students.“A load of adults don’t give you much profit, so why would you pick up school children who have to pay half the price, police counting heads, they won’t flex with you,” a route 32 minibus conductor said.A few commuters suggested that the government provide special transportation for school children, even if they have to pay the same reduced price.“If the government provides special vehicles for school children it will be a good thing. It will be many, and only school children so that driver ought to make a profit. And plus my daughter don’t have to get late for school everyday,” one route 32 commuter said.Many are of the opinion that it will cease the lawlessness that goes on with school children in the hotplate minibuses.Treatment to passengersAs it relates to the treatment of passengers, many commuters are of the opinion that the passengers themselves are to be blamed, since they are the ones who allow minibus drivers and conductors to treat them with utter disrespect and incongruity.“If I go in a bus and I say that nobody ain’t sitting on my lap, it simply means nobody ain’t sitting on my lap. Some people doesn’t talk, they like it like that. I does threaten them that I gon make the Police stop them on the road. And another thing we have to keep in mind is that is they bus, but is we money,” one Ms. Jameson of Grove, East Bank Demerara pointed out.She noted that while there are some who are decent, there are those who would “cuss out passengers out of their buses, just because you tell them about the speeding and the loud music. These however, are usually the hotplate buses.”Minibus UnionEon Andrews, President of the United Minibus Association, told this publication that the union is working to have the various minibus parks uniformed and trained, in an effort to have the work they do, be respected.He posited that the only way that this can be done, is to have more persons become members.Just recently, the Union rejected the Ministry of Tourism’s proposal to have the entity be placed under the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), stating that the union is an independent body, capable of enough to upkeep itself with no interference from the Government.The Union’s call to have the minibus fares increased was refused by the said Ministry, who later sent out a statement advising commuters not to pay any increase in fares.How commuters can benefit from the increaseNonetheless, the minibus operators are calling upon the Ministry to reconsider its decision, since the increase in fares will also prove beneficial to commuters.Reference was made to route 42 commuters who are usually stranded on the route 42 minibus park, on a regular basis during the peak hours.One driver noted that if the fares are raised, minibus operators will not be forced to operate the Diamond New Scheme route in order to make a profit, and will commence working the normal “short to Grove” route.
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