Wednesday, October 5, 2022

King, NCOPT To Meet Sunday Amid Recent Fuel Price Hikes

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Transport Minister Stephenson King and the National Council on Public Transportation (NCOPT) will meet on Sunday against the backdrop of fuel price hikes that went into effect on Monday.

Gasoline and diesel increased from $3.07 to $3.29 per litre or $13.95 to $14.95 per gallon.

At the same time, the LPG 100 Pound Cylinder (45.36kg) increased from $257.95 to $266.43.

“We will be meeting on Sunday with the Minister of Transport – I am not sure whether the Prime Minister will be there, but they have reached out to us,” NCOPT President Godfrey Ferdinand said.

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Ferdinand told St Lucia Times that Sunday’s gathering would pave the way for a general meeting between the NCOPT and the government.

He said the Presidents of the various bus associations under the NCOPT umbrella would then be able to voice their concerns and suggest solutions regarding concessions, exemptions, and requests.

 The NCOPT President has lamented what he described as an unfair bus fare in the past.

According to him, while prices have gone up everywhere, bus operators have not had an increase in some ten years.

The NCOPT had also noted that the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on passenger loads negatively impacted bus operators’ incomes.

Regarding the upcoming meetings, Ferdinand explained that traditionally the government would make an offer.

“We make an offer, and then the members go to their different associations to decide ‘Are we taking this from the government?” He told St Lucia Times.

“Also, as the executive, we try to guide the general council in telling them where we should go as a sector and where we should not go,” Ferdinand stated.

He expressed that currently, it seems that the associations are ready to make presentations regarding whether they favour measures such as a fare increase, continued concessions, or rebates.

But he explained that bus drivers would have preferred meetings before the recent fuel price hikes.

According to the NCOPT President, in such a case the bus operators would have known the government’s position before the increases took effect.

Headline stock photo: (L to R) Godfrey Ferdinand & Stephenson King 

 

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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.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Only 2 bus routes that are always demanding for bus fare increases — Gros -Islet
    and Castries to VFort routes. Why? because these routes are not properly managed since many drivers on these bus routes do not own the vehicles and constantly drivers are being changed. How .any if them are wearing the mini bus shirts or uniform? If you look at the other routes many of the drivers own their buses and do not split the profits. Government needs to look into this. Police officers, people with other permanent jobs buy buses and give others to drive it. The way I see it, if you cannot drive your own bus get off the road. Stop investing in buses if it is not profitable to cry to the media about paying loans. That is your business and the bank. And why would someone continue to invest if is not profitable? Many private workers have taken a pay cut or are working fewer hours on an already small salary. So government is the one who must lower taxes for the bus drivers. It should not come off the commuters pocket.

  2. No fare increase in ten years is not economically viable considering increasing cost of living, fuel prices, vehicle repair and maintenance etc. Public transportation is a fundamental government service provided by private investors. The increase needs to be small to keep fares affordable.

  3. this is a political gimmick and it should not find resting place in anyone’s mind set because the Ukraine and Russia war thats on going should not be the main reason for fuel increase but it also confirm Lucia is a check list for treaties etc etc.

  4. The real issue is their earnings are dropping, cause more people forcing to get a vehicle as their service is soo gad damn poor. Added to that doctors and frontline workers all got their own vehicles. So lees ppl boarding busses dem days

  5. Them bus drivers from gros islet could make more money if only they drove smartly….high rpms….fast take offs…..hard breaking…..maneuvering dangerously just to get infront of 2 vehicles. If your private business is suffering financially then deal with it.

  6. I hope with the increase they want ggey fix the buses. Don’t blame covid. It was like that way before

Comments are closed.

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