Minibuses should transport two in a seat – Union
Even as minibus drivers are complaining about having to transport 75% of their seating capacity, President of the United Minibus Union Eon Andrews believes this should be further reduced to 65%.
According to Andrews, 75% allows minibuses to transport three persons in one row while 65% will allow them to transport two persons. As such, he said there will be adequate distancing between passengers.
“75% is just one less than what the bus normally holds…which means there is no social distance, there has to be two in one seat,” Andrews said at a press conference hosted by the Guyana National Road Safety Council (GNRSC) on Wednesday at the Critchlow Labour College, Woolford Avenue, Georgetown.
He also criticised the enforcement of the COVID-19 guidelines.
“I’ve seen bus drivers without masks, I’ve seen them allowing persons to come into the buses without masks. They must refuse persons who are coming into their buses without masks and the passengers have a responsibility as well where he/she ought not to go into a bus where there are others without a mask,” Andrews added.
The Union President pointed out that persons on the bus parks are not wearing masks, touts are still around pulling at persons’ bags and some drivers are overloading the minibuses.
“… at the parks, there are these youngsters who are still touting, they do not have masks, some people are going into one bus and their bag into another bus how they’re pulling people,” Andrews stated.
Also present at the press conference was the Traffic Chief Ramesh Ashram who noted that the Police are faced with its own challenges as persons are not adhering to the guidelines.
He said there is an ongoing campaign where persons are charged for breaching the COVID-19 guidelines.
“There’s an exercise we carry out on a weekly basis where we charge persons,” he said.
“Why an adult have to get someone to tell them which bus to go in? Why we must tell a person to not go into an overall bus…it is the same thing we keep lecturing and the same thing they keep doing,” he added.
The Traffic Chief urged persons to take responsibility for their own health.
“Don’t join a minibus when the required amount is already in it,” he said.
The Guyana National Road Safety Council said it will embark on a campaign to ensure that the COVID-19 regulations are enforced.
Guyana has recorded over 3,000 COVID-19 cases to date and 98 deaths.