The Government is working to have the Demerara Harbour Bridge Corporation (DHBC) totally self-reliant. During a Press Conference on Friday, Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Annette Ferguson said annual subventions being given to the Demerara DHBC should be spent on other sectors.
“Some persons might question why the Corporation should stop receiving Government subvention. After all, it is the taxpayers’ monies and DHBC provides a service to the taxpayers. However, we must consider that not every taxpayer is a user of the Demerara Harbour Bridge. It is necessary, therefore, to transfer this responsibility from the Government and to allow our taxpayers’ monies to go towards other sectors such as education and health” Ferguson said.
Following the announcement of the toll increase earlier this week, several persons expressed fear that there will also be an increase of public transportation costs. However, on Friday the Minister clarified that there was no increase in toll for minibuses and therefore this should not obtain.
The last time there was a toll increase was in 2008 where the toll for private cars rose from $50 to $100 while for private four-wheel drives, the toll moved from $50 to $200.
It was also noted that over the years, the traffic on the Demerara Harbour Bridge has significantly increased, particularly among certain types of vehicles such as private cars, minibuses, and motor lorries. In January 2009, for example, there were approximately 74,000 trips made by private cars. In January 2010, this number rose to 86,338 and, by August of this year, there were approximately 163,000 trips made by private cars for that month.
For minibuses, the figure stood at 39,000 in January 2010. In July 2016, the figure was 44,000 for minibuses.
Meanwhile, motor lorries with 2 axles moved from 10,000 trips in January 2010 to 12,000 trips in August 2016.
From 2008 through 2016, DHBC made an average income of $489M each year from 2008 to 2016. For the same period, the Demerara Harbour Bridge Corporation expended an average of $910M each year across both its current and capital expenditures.
The Harbour Bridge is expected to make $550M at the end of 2016 with the current toll structure in place while its expenditure will stand at a projected $600M.
With the same amount of traffic in 2017, with the new toll structure, projected revenue would stands at $861M.
DHBC General Manager, Mr. Rawlston Adams at today’s press conference also disclosed that electricity cost per month for the corporation is $2.2M while security cost is $3M.
Effective from January 1, 2017, the Demerara Harbour Bridge will implement a new toll structure for most of the vehicular classifications:
|CLASSIFICATION||PRESENT TOLL||PROPOSED TOLL|
|Motor car (private)||$100||$200|
|Motor car (hire)||$100||$200|
|4WD jeeps/SUV/Pick-up (private)||$200||$200|
|Goods vehicle up to 2,200lbs (1,000kg)||$100||$400|
|Goods vehicle 2,201-4,400lbs (1,001kg-2,000kg)||$200||$400|
|Goods vehicle 4,401-6,600lbs (2,001kg-3,000kg)||$300||$400|
|Motor lorry (2-axles)||$500||$700|
|Motor lorry (3-axles)/Large bus||$600||$700|