Minibus fares should be regulated
Stabroek News
March 21, 2002

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Dear Editor,

For several years I have looked at the situation that has developed with the minibus drivers who have created a monopoly for transportation in the West Demerara areas, especially the Canal No. 1 area. The time has come for some urgent intervention.

First, I would like to touch on the bus fare which government does nothing to regulate. It seems to me that the authority has been vested in these bus drivers to increase bus fares at their whim and fancy, forcing helpless commuters to comply or walk to their various destinations. In particular the fare from Georgetown to Canal No. 1 Polder is an atrocity and even the bus drivers know that they are being unfair in their unchecked efforts to exploit commuters. From Georgetown to over Bagotsville bridge is $100.00 and when the bus proceeds along the Canal road the fare is the same, even to the end of the road which is several miles long.

It would be interesting to note that most minibus owners along this route are of Indian descent and the commuters who live on the first half of this canal road are of African descent and commuters who live at the end of this road are of Indian descent. It is only fair to conclude that the Africans are being exploited. Even the school children are charged outrageous fares to travel a shorter distance than their counterparts who travel a much longer distance

Second, with total disregard for the law enforcement officers bus drivers instead of transporting 15 passengers as required to overcrowd the bus and yet demand outrageous fares. My question is when will the government seek to regulate transportation costs.

Yours faithfully,

Caren English

Editor's note

The fare is $60. from Georgetown to the start of Bagotsville. It rises to $80 in inner Bagotsville and gets up to $l00 somewhere along the Canal No. l Polder road. The fare is said to be based on mileage covered and no other consideration.