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Bus drivers for Route 4B (Vieux Fort to Belle Vue) are likely breathing a sigh of relief. That’s because, before Dec. 4, 2017, these drivers had not received an official fare increase for at least nine years.
However, some commuters are not happy with the bus fare adjustments, announced yesterday, Dec. 5 by the Department of Economic Development, Transport and Civil Aviation.
Some commuters have claimed via Facebook that the increases have come at a wrong time, because salaries remain the same. (Comments have not been edited)
Jack Paul said “everything goes up but not our salaries” – a similar sentiment expressed by Jenifer James, who wrote, “But ppl still work for Peanuts”.
Petra Toussaint commented: “I am not against the increase Mr Minister. My concern is why did you allow the increase when the salaries remain the same?????? This is a big joke. Yall can’t be serious about implimenting one and excluding the other.”
Popo Louis likewise said: “After we don’t hve ching ching in our pockets a hike in bus fare? Awa awa awa.”
Some like Sweetneva Saltii has vowed to walk some distances instead of paying: “I will walk from coconut bay to the airport before I pay 1.75.”
Others like Minel Mitchel simply hopes that with the increase comes “good service”.
However, Shernel Justin said people will complain about the fare increases but will do nothing – as usual: “Oh please… Y’all not gonna do anything about it. St. Lucians are great complainers, then insult and fight down those who actually want to make a difference….”
One foreigner observed that the St. Lucia fares are comparatively cheaper. Reah Baptiste said: “I wish this was my country. The cheapest adult fare is $2.50. Sighs*.”
Some commuters have alleged that the bus drivers were overcharging them for a particular route, prior to the official adjustments:
Clovis N. Malison Avaitay I dont c no five dollars on the list der yet! So why didn’t they say off route I clearly see HIA there. By the airport gap not close to HIA
Sherryn Knowles Never paid $5.00 cause i knew it was wrong!
Delma A Baptiste Sherryn Knowles Dionne N A Octave look at this!! Yet still today a Pierrot bus driver tells me that airport is still off route, and that the fee to airport gap has increased. …..god alone knows!!
Dionne N A Octave I don’t know but I think these drivers need to give us a refund or back pay for the mizzy times they illegally changed us $5.00
Sharma Sadoo I will walk instead eh. Let them be rude and out of place. If the fares are unfair to them they should be complaining to transport board not taking it out on the passengers claiming to go off route. Bcuz I will go to town, board leo and come to the airport and I will still not pay $5
The authorities have warned against overcharging.
In a press release yesterday, the Department of Economic Development, Transport and Civil Aviation “reminds public Omni-bus owners and drivers that, a driver of an Omni-bus shall not charge or demand more than the fares chargeable”.
“The Department reminds also that the fares, in relation to the route which the public Omni-bus has been authorised to ply, should be clearly displayed inside the Omni-bus.”
The new fares on the Route 4B route take effect from Dec. 4, 2017.