Essequibo minibus and hire car body issues new fare structure
Stabroek News
June 19, 2004

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The Essequibo Coast Minibus and Hire Car Association has issued a new fare structure which the body says is justified owing to the recent increase in fuel prices.

While there has been no official approval of the increases as yet by the Ministry of Commerce, acting president of the association, Mohamed Nazmul has already made representation for endorsement of the new fare structure by the authorities.

According to the new fare structure, passengers travelling from Anna Regina to Adventure, Anna Regina to Charity, and Suddie to Supenaam are now required to pay $260; and from Supenaam to Anna Regina the fare is $500 while Supenaam to Charity costs $700. Lower fares exist for trips such as Suddie to Queenstown ($100), Suddie to Perseverance ($80), and Supenaam to Aurora ($60).

Frederick Gilbert, the association's public relations officer, said that the decision on the new fare structure was taken at a meeting on May 19 at the Anna Regina car park. Members considered, he said, that the fares had basically remained the same since 1999, with only marginal increases on certain routes.

Gilbert cited fuel price increases between December 2000 and June 2004 when the cost jumped from $354 per gallon to $590. In May, he noted, gasoline was being sold at $620 per gallon but owing to government's waiver of 20% of the importation tax, prices at the fuel pumps dropped to $590 per gallon.

According to Gilbert, the new fare structure reflects the association's willingness to be flexible in the interest of commuters.

He said further that "if the ministry has already endorsed the increases in other parts of the country, we in Region Two must be granted an endorsement too." However owners and operators have pledged to be flexible with senior citizens and school children in relation to the new fares, Gilbert added.