King Cautions Minibus Drivers Against Arbitrary Fare Hikes

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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.

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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.

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
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13 COMMENTS

  1. The buses don’t belong to the government or the Ministers, and the bus owners are not working for you. They work for themselves as self-employed individuals and must main their buses at the same time. They pay the same prices as everyone else at the super markets and must pay themselves for the service they offer. Our stupid unthinking Ministers don’t understand. Theses jokers seem to believe that all that i required is to grant a fare increase without consideration to the bus owners time. Bus owners are providing a service that government is unable to do and should not have to wait for a Cabinet decision. Bus owners have been providing this service long before government even realized that Public transportation was a need in St.Lucia. We are not always with the service they offer but we get to our destinations. And we should be thankful.

  2. i hope the ministers smart enough to read the comment section , cause thats where you truly hear the ppl voice, these drivers are making their own rules and holding us hostage to their service. we dont work for them they work for us.

    one driver who does the cap estate shuttle wants to raise the cost to drop off on his own telling a customer if its one person only its 5 but two or more would be the normal rate. all these routes need to be governed properly they dont want to drop you where you going you have to beg the drivers to do the route they getting paid to do

  3. Andre don’t make believe that all bus drivers are SLP supporters. You are nothing but UWP. Stop the political games and obey the laws of the country.

  4. Them bus drivers getting on like is for them alone the fuel raise….make less bomb with yall money and yall will see light and stop crying

  5. If it comes to the point where bus fare must be increase so be it as the system and formula the St. Lucian government has been using is not working period. Everything has to be political before it can reach anyway which is practically dividing the country more and more. The staple products and cost of living is increasing the banks are putting more pressure on these guys who have loads, etc. The tourism sector is in deep shambles regardless how they twist the narratives. I’ll say ignore king and others adjust your fares so you can go home with some money to put food on the table, loans are not easy these days and along with few things from the supermarket costing 50$+. The politicians are living a posh life style can don’t crew eff about the citizens literally. If they are so concern about their citizens why not chip in collectively a % from their salary this is where we can see who is patriotic.

  6. Yes pip is better than chasnet by 100% why didn’t the bus drivers ask chas for a bus fare hike any time slp is in power they ask for it and they always get it smfh

  7. Stephanie reminds me of Spicy. Spicy told all women that they must be afraid of no man. Instead, they must use the power in front of them, and cry for no man. Yet, when Spicy was caught in the UK, she began to cry for the immigration officers instead of using the power in front of her. Stephanie is the same. He has the power behind him and instead of using it, he is crying to the media and saying that cabinet hasn’t approve the fare hike. Stephanie please use the power that is behind you and stop confusing the bus drivers.

  8. Individual bus owners must understand that their fate is in their own hands. The government is not interested because it has no no investment in the industry. Transportation is nowhere mentioned in the Budget. So much for government interest in the Transportation Industry. According to Minister King, the SLP administration in 2015, met with the NCOPT to discuss fare increases. The SLP have returned to office after having spent five years in opposition and are yet to give the matter of fare increases any serious attention. The government doesn’t give a damn. If that industry was led by professionals like lawyers, doctors, accountants engineers and the like; the face of public transportation would have been very different. Is there a government rate for a doctor’s visit, or a lawyer’s visit; or what an architect can charge for a house plan? No! Bus owners must check themselves. They have invested in buses which they maintain at their own cost. Those buses are insured and licensed to carry passengers, yet still the greedy government is charging them for a route band to carry passengers. There is no public transportation in St.Lucia; what we have is a number of individuals providing a service to the public.

  9. so hold on this decision is not legal yet but the bus drivers are already charging people for it? is this what is goin on here? wow you see how greedy and ignorant these bus rivers are Godfredy please educate your members. i hope when the instrument is published saint lucia times can post it here as well

  10. As Bus Drivers, we were very surprised at what King said outside parliament. When he met with us he was very sympathetic and accommodating. We never felt like there was any obstacle to our fare hike. King is a two-faced man that we need to be very careful when dealing with him.

    • Shows how ignorant y’all bus drivers are and fully explains your behaviour on the roads. There is a PROCESS. King is asking for the process to be completed before you ignoramuses implement the price increases. Nothing in that statement shows he is not accommodating.

      • Yes, we ignorant for true because it is people like you who made bus drivers believe that PIP was better than Chastanet. Now we are paying for our mistake.

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