King: Impending Bus Fare Increase Moderate, Deserved

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Transport Minister Stephenson King has described an impending bus fare increase as moderate while indicating that minibus operators deserve the hike, which the government expects to announce on July 1.

A 2013 bus fare review recommended the increases, and the National Council on Public Transportation (NCOPT) agreed to its implementation.

“We just cannot wait for the 2022 report,” NCOPT President Godfrey Ferdinand told St Lucia Times recently after a meeting with Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre and Transport Minister King to discuss the fare hike.

Ferdinand disclosed that fare increases would be twenty-five cents, fifty cents, and one dollar depending on the route.

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“I consider it to be moderate not as severe as many may think,” Transport Minister Stephenson King told reporters this week.

The former Prime Minister noted that bus operators had not received a fare hike before 2013.

“You are speaking about 13 years more or less since the last review and so I think it is deserving and I think the general public will understand,” King stated.

The Minister disclosed that there were ‘intense’ discussions with the bus operators regarding the way forward, given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war on the public transport sector, the government, and everyone else.

According to King, the discussions focused on providing relief to the bus sector while considering the situation facing commuters.

“We are looking at the introduction of a new fare increase by July 1 once all is done in terms of the sanitising of the report of 2013 and presenting it to cabinet for final approval,” the Castries North MP told reporters.

At the same time, he made it clear that the government is very sensitive to the situation of the general public.

“I believe very soon the government will look at the question of a livable wage for workers so as to be able to protect them and ensure they get a good salary,” King expressed.

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

9 COMMENTS

  1. I thought King was the Rebate King. What has changed since he changed his colours? Oh sorry, a lot, infact everything. Hospital, Airport, roads, bridges, even his weight. Play on heavy roller. What is happening to the BLUE WAVE? Has it turned RED as well. Richard is still your Boss so be careful you don’t get another slap.

  2. Talk is cheap! The more things change the more it remains the same here in little helen of west? The bus drivers may not have had a pay increase since 2013, however they received annual fuel rebates! Why now when everything has gone up and the majority are struggling to afford the basic necessity of living?
    The minister thinks it is reasonable because he do not have to use public transport regularly to get to work, shop etc, this is a caring government.
    Now the minister also promise a living wage and cheap talk to make joe public feel they are doing something. Why not before and who determines a living wage I wait a see with bated breath that becomes a reality on the rock of sages.

  3. Everyone deserves the best in life, but it is IMPOSSIBLE for men to live whithout God’s word, which is our daily bread.
    The only solution is to depend on the word of GOD.
    It is Bible Phrophecy
    For these things must occured, there will be terrible times, farmine……
    Jesus Christ is the only hope and victory !!
    For I am a great King”says the LORD
    And my name is to be feed among the nation.

  4. The bus operators deserved an increase as far back as 2013. However, the system is a racket. The government is involved in racketeering. The government is running a protection racket for “legal M plate” bus operators. St.Lucia is a democratic capitalist country in which the doctrine of “free enterprise” is supposed to reign. The government in collusion with Mini bus Associations have ensured that “free enterprise” is outlawed in the St.Lucia’s Transportation Industry. This is sad. Ridiculously so. It is government’s business to provide an environment where citizens can find work, if one is unable to secure gainful employment one may opt to provide for one’s self and family by way of self employment. In St.Lucia, a bus owner who wishes to go into the business of public transportation must apply to (wait for it) a Mini Bus Association for approval. If he is refused by the association, he has no recourse. If he goes to the Ministry which issues the Route Bands he is there advised to get approval from a mini bus association. The problem with all of this is that the Ministry responsible for transportation is not a supplier/producer of the product “transportation” yet, it sells route bands in an industry in which it has nothing to offer except (wait for it) protection. The government is offering protection to a select number of individuals – in a capitalist society where free enterprise is embraced. the government of St.Lucia is engaged in an illegal activity, to wit, “a protection racket.” Worse still, to demonstrate the government’s lack of interest and sensitivity to the industry a $750.00 route band sold by the Transportation department is resold by route band holders for as much as $40,000 and $60,000 to people desirous of entering the industry. With all this madness we still don’t have a transportation system and the fare structure is even more insane. I’m familiar with the fares for Odsan and Vieux Fort which are $2.50 and $8.00 respectively. The Vieux Fort bus operator collects 22 cents per mile for the 36 mile journey while the Odsan operator collects 83cents per mile for the three mile distance. How serious are the people charged with the responsibility of serving the public? Ah! Almost forgot this one. The Ministry of Transportation which is involved in an illegal protection racket seeks and gets the assistance of the St.Lucia police to stop non-route band operators from providing a legal service to St.Lucia’s commuters.

  5. To begin I agree that government need to address the salary issue.People we need to be a little considerate. The roads are horrible around the island the increase on vehicle parts and tyres are unbelievable so I strongly believe the drivers deserve an increase and it’s just $1 max that’s for the longest route soufriere and vieux fort.

  6. I don’t have a problem with the bus fare being increase the problem that is difficult to comprehend is that the government is clueless of how to deal ith issues like this while at the same time giving hotels 1.5 decades of tax free service, unable to device ways to generate revenue to assist businesses in general. More to come

  7. That is exactly why Guy never wanted King as Minster of Transport. He would do anything for votes. The bus fare increase is just for votes. So many minsters of Transport pass an nvr gv increase. Mr. Soft and No Ballz alone succumb. Ever wonder why we hv so much poverty. school drop outs, crime, gun violence, etc. With ppl like King as a Leader it’s a must.

  8. what is a livable wage for workers and even if it is implemented how can it be enforced? imagine a shoe store not making much money and things are raising how will the store owner be able to keep up with at least paying the minimum wage if that to is increased also.

    i am not saying am against raising the minimum wage my concern is how is it going to be made sure it is paid to a person who works it, cause you know there are some employers that are greedy and selfish and only want to see them selves have something in life no matter how hard and dedicated you work for them

    • so true i must say if we the little ppl have to live a little better our salary have to raise so we can afford bus fare an to pay bills an to do shopping to send our kids school cause now everything goes up why can’t salary go up too?

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