Antigua: Drivers against decrease in fares

Antigua: Drivers against decrease in fares

Both the taxi and bus associations are dead set against the government’s recommendation to reduce their fares.

General Secretary for the National Taxi Association, Gregory Athill has threatened to shut down ground transportation, if they go through with the recommendation.

“It will never happen! We will have a shutdown of the whole country, I can guarantee you that much,” Athill told OBSERVER media on Thursday.

The announcement for a reduction in fares came from Government’s Chief of Staff Lionel Max Hurst, who said, he sees no problem with taxi and bus operators lowering fares now that the price of fuel has gone down.

“The idea is that whenever fuel prices fall that we would see it reflected in the prices which they charge their customers, and prices have fallen” Hurst said.

The recommendation comes less than a month after the government reduced the cost of fuel at the pump from $13.50 to $12.50 per gallon.

“We have been absorbing the gas price for the past years; “I just can’t understand how Max or the government can say such a thing”, Athill exclaimed.

The general secretary said just a few months ago, most taxi operators were prepared to completely shut down ground transportation, but later decided to allow government more time to meet their mounting demand to do the exact opposite of what they are recommending.

“We have been having a series of meetings with all the three associations and the concern of majority of the people was the gas price was too high and what can we do.”

“Now that they would have only taken off a dollar, I think that we would have to meet again, maybe by the middle of next month for the latest, to look at what we are planning to do,” Athill told OBSERVER media.

He further warned, “They could play around with all different avenues of government and so on, but you don’t want to touch taxis and bus drivers. That will close down any government.”

(http://antiguaobserver.com/government-told-to-back-off-fare-decreases/)

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