Transport Minister Stephenson King has cautioned minibus drivers against unilaterally increasing fares as Cabinet prepares to discuss the matter on Monday.
“Thery are breaking the law and if indeed they are, the transport department is to inform the police and make the necessary arrests,” King responded when reporters raised the matter with him on Thursday.
And the former Prime Minister declared that no one is supposed to be charging anything more than what are now the established rates for public transportation.
“The proposals which were made in 2013 – 2015 thereabout speak to a number of increases based on the routes. There are some long routes, there are some short routes and there are routes more or less within the vicinity of Castries. And so those recommendations will be presented to Cabinet and hopefully Cabinet will consider the basis for granting it and set the date for the award,” King told reporters.
He declared that minibus operators could not apply the proposed rates when they were unsure whether Cabinet would accept the proposals.
But he said a decision to grant a fare increase was before Cabinet.
“What is going now is the magnitude of the increase based on the analysis done by the Department of Finance and the Department of Infrastructure-Transport,” the Castries North MP explained.
He told reporters that the bus operators need to wait because there’s a process.
“The process is not just to announce it. Cabinet has to look at it, examine it and take a Cabinet decision,” King disclosed.
He added that a Statutory Instrument (SI) would have to be published.
“They need to wait on the publication of the SI. It is only after it is published it becomes law. You cannot take the law into your hands,” the Minister asserted.