Wednesday, August 10, 2022

NCOPT: Bus Drivers Not Greedy In Raising Issue Of Fare Hike

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The National Council on Public Transportation (NCOPT) has taken issue with assertions that bus drivers are greedy in raising the subject of a fare increase which they have not had for some 14 years.

“Everybody is saying we are greedy. How could we be greedy if we have not received an increase for fourteen years? In their current working environment, who has not received an increase in 14 years and is still in the job?” NCOPT President Godfrey Ferdinand told St Lucia Times.

He also disclosed that not all bus operators had received cash disbursements as part of the government’s COVID-19 relief, creating frustration among the non-recipients.

Ferdinand explained that some operators did not provide their correct bank information. At the same time, typographical errors also contributed to the delays and the fact that the council understands that the payments are in ‘batches.’

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He said operators had submitted the correct information in cases where the authorities needed it.

But he told St Lucia Times that the frustrating issue for those yet to receive their money is the payments started before Christmas.

“They are used to getting paid through the NCOPT, but this time it is through the treasury, and it is a more tedious process. So the guys are saying, ‘What’s the hold-up? ” The NCOPT president told St Lucia Times.

According to Ferdinand, some $1.1 million in relief assistance covers March 2020 to March 2021 and would amount to $800 for each Route Permit holder.

However, he reiterated that minibus operators had not received a fare hike regardless of the administration in power.

Ferdinand indicated that the public transport sector had received incentives in place of a fare increase, including permit exemptions, rebates  and a standard fee for licence stickers. 

Nevertheless, he expressed that the incentives do not provide adequate compensation.

In this regard, the NCOPT President pointed out that if a bus operator gets $800 to cover March 2020 to March 2021 as provided in the current COVID-19 relief package, it equates to about two dollars a day when the bus fare on some routes is $8.

“We are taking it because we don’t want to put pressure on the customer. The government is trying to absorb that. However what we are getting is not sufficient and is it seems the public do not understand,” Ferdinand asserted.

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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.

15 COMMENTS

  1. It’s time the government do just like Babados and get their own public buses on the road. Get rid of those greedy drivers. They ain’t ready yet to serve. Fire them all.

  2. The bus drivers are very wicked. Some of them continue to carry full loads, especially the Boguis drivers. These drivers always want an increase. They are self conceited and egotistical. Mothers don’t need an increase for homeschooling from government? What happen to these drivers,. We the people of this country fed up with y’all. Stop acting like only y’all suffering. It is a global thing. Get a grip on life.

  3. I think they can get a small increase. A bus and route band is not cheap and a salary must also be gained. The standard of public transport has actually increased on certain routes and incentives should be provided to better the standard on all routes.

  4. What is the annual fuel rebate given by successive governments when you pay no tax on your income like every other working persons.
    Since we always compare Barbados, do we know it is flat fare of $1.50 however long or short your trip, not the varied amount we pay according to route destination.

  5. This is the main issue causing the greed for price hike. The majority of buses are not owned by the drivers and the latter must make a stipulated amount to give the minibus owners, each day/week, before the drivers can make a living for themselves. It is that hustle which causes all the accidents and greed. Pay adjustments should be made between bus owners and drivers but not the public.

  6. Godfrey you again! Tell me something bus drivers. To you it is okay to purchase a brand new bus for $120,000 and to be paying more year after year. It is okay to agree
    to pay the bank the monthly payments and it is okay to pay insurance the stipulated fees and it is from us you demand high rates to pay your buses? Y’all like to put y’all hat where it cannot reach and expect the poor to pay y’all high debts. Leave the damn profession or go do farming to pay the bank. Depending on the trips cannot help you. All I hear is we have to pay the banks. Y’all go look for big loans and feel like on us to make all y’all money. Choops!

  7. Government Should Tax all of them from the Date they purchase the Bus up to thIs present date.Secondly the Owerners of the Buses have big jobs with Government and Hire Drivers .If you carry out a Survey on the Gros.Islet Bus Stand 99.9% of the Bus Drivers are not the owners of the Buses..

  8. Why don’t we first start by raising basic wage .. in due time the ppl of this country will not be able too afford any thing.. The ppl are working for peanuts while most of you just can’t get enough. This is really unfair .

  9. The question is why many bus owners have 2, 3 4 or 5 buses on routes. If they were not making money they would not have that many buses or keep buying to put on the roads. The fact is bus drivers can make alot of money when the season is high for example Christmas, New years, Carnival, Easter during the summer even election time or weekends. So why ask for increases when they can make more than the average amount. So yes you all are greedy. Y’all were making it on wkends when people go out to parties. Y’all were accumulating more than triple the amount on a regular day. The problem is y’all did not manage your finance properly.
    Let me bring to your attention Godfrey not all NIC contributors benefited from the income support given by the last administration. Remember it was for those who contributed from Feb 2020. Others had to fend for themselves. Your drivers want easy money. If it is hand out from the govt it is price increase directly from the commuters. When have your bus drivers ever give back to its customers in all the years of bus operating. Your drivers even steal from school children charging then adult price in school uniforms.

  10. These Mini bus Drivers too Greedy .When was the Last time Taxi Drivers Receive Rebate or Increase in Taxi Rates. Government Should never award no increase to Mini Bus Drivers

  11. F****** when was the Last Time Taxi Fares Increase.Fishermen Etc These Minibus Drivers too Greedy .Government should never award the Mini Bus Drivers no Increase .They just Receive $800 Rebate what the Hell

  12. Nobody would be in a business for 14 years if it were not PROFITABLE. Don’t try that BS. How about you find something else to do in the hours you sit around on the stand doing nothing. Some drivers do it and they;re fine. You want to earn 40 hour work week income doing 10 hours work. Madness.

  13. People get raises when they make improvements to their craft, many most of the workforce have not received a raise in over a decade, so how have the bus drivers and association improved the transport system ?

Comments are closed.

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