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Members of the National Council on Public Transportation (NCOPT) plan to meet with government soon to recommence discussions regarding the increase in bus fares.
President of the NCOPT Godfrey Ferdinand said the minibus operators are hoping that this increase could come into effect soon. He said there was a number of delays in the past, while pointing out that the last minibus fare increase was in 2008.
Ferdinand told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) today that despite a possible reduction in the price of fuel soon, the NCOPT will still be moving ahead to have an increase in bus fares.
“It looks ridiculous or unfair to actually ask for an increase, when fuel would actually reduce by two or three dollars, but that is not why there is another implementation. We have always delayed it, because we felt at the time that the economy could not handle it,” he explained.
Ferdinand said lower fuel cost is only one factor of the equation that would help minibus operators. He stressed that they are also faced with enduring high costs for maintenance and purchasing of vehicle parts.
Meanwhile, the NCOPT head reminded that minibus operators have been very lenient, in that they were able to withstand a number of delays for an increase in bus fares. He said the time has now come for the increase to be fully implemented.
The NCOPT had proposed a set price of: $0.25 cents for short drops, $0.50 to $0.75 cents for medium road drops (example, Castries to Dennery) and $1 for long road drops (example, Castries to Vieux Fort.)