From The Archives: Fare boxes blamed for coin shortage
SMALL BARBADIAN BUSINESSMEN are saying that the recent implementation of fare boxes by the Transport Board has left them with a coin shortage.
Shopkeepers, vendors and other small business owners have reported that since the fare boxes came into operation there had been a scarcity of coins.
One shopkeeper whose business is near a country bus stop-over told the NATION that there is a constant demand for coins. He said the present situation reminded him of the introduction of slot machines and the subsequent shortage of quarters (25 cent pieces).
“But that situation was not widespread,” he continued, “since everybody did not play the machines. In any case it turned out to be only temporary, since the novelty of the slot machines wore off after a time.”
The shopkeeper pointed out that the current situation however, might last indefinitely because “everybody caught the bus” and it appeared as if the fare boxes were “here to stay”.
Another small businessman operating near the Princess Alice bus stand, said things had reached a stage where she was sure that more people called at her business place asking about coins than for what she was selling.
A spokesman for the Transport Board said, however, that he was unaware of such a development. He added that as far as he knew, the coin booths which had been erected for the purpose of providing coins to commuters were adequately serving their purpose.
Meanwhile, the Central Bank has said that it did not foresee any coin shortage.
An official said they were not aware of the problem and gave the assurance that “there is an adequate supply of coins circulating in the system”. He added that in any case, the bank was “adequately stocked”.
He urged businessmen over the next few weeks to ask for more coins and fewer bills when they collect money from the banks.