Fix transport system first!
HAVE A PROPER FUNCTIONING bus system before you seek to raise bus fares.
That’s the general consensus from Barbadians in response to the announcement that bus fares would soon be increased.
When a MIDWEEK NATION team visited the Princess Alice Bus Terminal in Bridgetown yesterday, many seemed not to be interested in the hike, while others said it would be a stretch on their pockets.
“To raise that would be really hard right now; things already hard. To increase bus fare with the same regular wages would be really hard,” said Shane Turney.
Shamar Maynard said he knew he would not be able to manage the increase. “I’m not in agreement with the increase in bus fare prices. I sometimes have to come from St Philip to Speightstown, so that’s already a lot of money. I can’t bear anymore.”
However, Anthony Carter said though it would be a stretch on his pocket, he understood that it needed to be done.
“We all know the country is going through tough times now, so they are doing what needs to be done. I’m going to just try and survive and live with it,” he added.
Another commuter, who asked not to be identified, said the Government seemed to be doing things backwards.
“How can you raise bus fares and the bus system not even working properly? Sometimes only one bus comes for the St Andrew’s Church route and sometimes you’re waiting hours for that one bus. It seems to me like they are putting the cart before the horse,” he said.
Ralph Spring, who does not pay bus fare, sympathised with the ones who would be affected by the increase.
“It will be really hard on people. Some pay $8 a day right now; if they raise that it would be ridiculous. They would have to raise salaries, and we know that’s not happening.”
Some public service vehicle drivers said they agreed with the fare increase, but it should not be by too much.
“If they are going to carry it up, don’t carry it up by no more than $1, and leave the schoolchildren at $2. A hike in bus fare would kill all the short routes. A lot of people are going to start walking too,” Don Pile said. ( DB)
(Pictures by Krystal Hoyte.)