PSV leader defends fare increase
Head of the Alliance Owners of Public Transport, Roy Raphael, has defended the recent rise in bus fare for schoolchildren on public service vehicles (PSVs).
The children were required to pay $2 on all PSVs from the start of the new school term on Tuesday. They still ride free on the state-owned Transport Board. Addressing the issue on yesterday’s Down To Brass on Starcom Network with host Corey Lane, Raphael said PSV operators had no other option as the figures just weren’t adding up.
“I called to clear the point on the bus fare issue. Let me make it clear that bus fare in Barbados is $2 across the board, and over time, what we would have been doing as responsible owners is charging schoolchildren $1.50, which we could no longer absorb because of high insurance costs, high court costs and so on,” he said.
“Our vehicles are very old – we have some dating back to 1984 – and insurance can rate for a third party from $17 000, so at this time our profits aren’t allowing us to continue in that vein. We have made countless attempts to the Ministry of Transport and Works [and] the Ministry of Finance to give us duty-free concessions on our vehicles and we are at the point where we don’t know if we are going to get it.”
Raphael said the operators were not breaking the law.
“We had a meeting with the relevant authorities to make sure that we are well within our rights and we are. So we said effective [Tuesday], that schoolchildren will now have to pay $2 across the board. We said to our drivers and operators to be responsible as well and if a child doesn’t have the $2, not to leave them stranded by the road.” (DB)