Minibus Union in full support of an increase in fares this year
The President of the United Minibus Union is predicting that there might be a call for an increase of fares because of many contributing factors. He told News Room in an exclusive interview that once the members call for such an increase then the Union is in full support.
President of the United Minibus Union, Eon Andrews says it would have been five years ago that the Union negotiated for an increase on minibus fares before approval was given to add $20 to the fares. However, he attributed to the pending ban on used tyres as of April; something which is widely used in the industry, as well as Guyoil’s adjustment to their gas prices this month based on the increases in oil prices on the world market.
“I will be honest with you but I know there will be a call early in this year for us to address this situation and I do know that if that there is to be an increase as it relates to the intended banning of tyres and the fuel situation, the Union will no power or no other reason or choice but to go with our membership” Andrews told News Room’s Mark Murray.
Turning his attention to the impact this will have on commuters, he said he feels the operators are entitled to an increase but “these things always have contentious response, or contentious confrontations because you know any sensible government wouldn’t want to let the proletariat (working class) feel well they are not being represented and the minibus people are taking advantage of them.”
The Minibus Union President said persons need to understand that operators would have taken a chance to buy a bus because central government has never embarked on taking on the responsibility of providing public transportation.
“So when persons would have bought buses it would have been at their own risk, the expenses that go with it and they had to create a market whereby they can survive in an environment that I would say at this point and time the bus service is extremely saturated…One has to be careful because business people do not get into business to lose money, they are always going to find a way to pass it down or on to somebody and obviously the whipping boys and girls would be the commuters that travel that very poor man’s transportation that is call minibus” Andrews said.
Cognizant of the “terrible reputation” of minibus drivers, Andrews said “the sector is govern(ed) by indiscipline and greed and the Union is embarking on changing that culture…(but) the Police has (have) to assist and that is where the greatest problem come about.”
Andrews has assured that bus fares will not be increased without proper consultations which would involve all the major stakeholders especially the travelling public.