NCOPT: Saint Lucia Minibus Fares Unfair

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The National Council on Public Transportation (NCOPT) believes it is unfair to minibus drivers that amid rising prices everywhere, minibus operators have not had a fare increase in some ten years.

NCOPT President Godfrey Ferdinand asserts that consumers can afford to pay more for water, electricity, airline tickets, and items at supermarkets and hardware stores but balk at the notion of increased bus fares.

“Why allow the supermarkets, the companies the hardware stores to raise everything strictly based on shipping and everything that we are using too has gone up, but we are not allowed to raise our fares. That’s unfair,” Ferdinand told St Lucia Times.

He indicated that the situation has become even more challenging due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, which has drastically reduced mini bus operators’ earnings and caused them to struggle to pay their debts, including money owed to financial institutions.

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Health, Wellness, and Elderly Affairs Minister Moses Jn Baptiste recently announced that public omnibuses should not carry more than ten passengers as of Monday under the latest COVID-19 protocols.

Ferdinand recalled that the NCOPT has always asked the government to provide some form of subsidy.

“When you divide the financial subsidy that the government is giving us, for example the $800 the guys are receiving right now. When you divide it to the number of working days it equates to a dollar. You are forfeiting four seats and the government is giving you a dollar a day,” the NCOPT President explained.

“Persons need to understand that we have actually worked with both political parties to try to work with our customers but they don’t feel for us. They can afford to pay the increases in the supermarkets in airline tickets water electricity, every other things but bus fares,” Ferdinand lamented.

And he said bus operators want the public to work with them to reduce the COVID-19 numbers so that things can return to some semblance of normalcy.

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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.

30 COMMENTS

  1. My boy, price of everything gone up but my salary didn’t go up!! I can barely afford to pay bills and now you asking for bus fare to go up to. How will we survive people

  2. Who is to blame? ALL past, and present, government administrations for the past 50 years!! The government should’ve had a government run/national transportation system from the time Gros Islet drivers began buying Toyota and Datsun vans to offer a much needed transportation service. The southerners were still driving the big Bedford trucks.

    Now … SLU has evolved into a PRIVATE transportation system which the drivers have been TRYING to make “public” (civil service status). So – we ALL stick in dat!! They want civil servant perks which they do not work for.

    It is not too late for the government to install a NATIONAL TRANSPORT SERVICE … where THEY can “inflict” bus fares on the public, have bus terminals, bus schedules, bus drivers, bus conductors, etc. This National Transport Service will need to employ Civil Servants who can get a monthly salary, get a pension, go on strike; demand salary increases, etc., etc., etc. Will St Lucians then be happy?

  3. I don’t think they need an increase while we the people haven’t gotten jack throughout the years. But on another Note this young woman with the off shoulder dress is finer than a Mother Effer. WOW if anyone knows who she is please message me a if so I can link her. Who knows she might just be my future wife or children’s mother. hardknox@biyololo.com.

  4. I don’t think they need an increase while we the people haven’t gotten jack throughout the years. But on another Note this young woman with the off shoulder dress is finer than a Mother Effer. WOW if anyone knows who she is please message me a if so I can link her. Who knows she might just be my future wife or children’s mother. hardknox@biyololo.com.

  5. I don’t think they need an increase while we the people haven’t gotten jack throughout the years. But on another Note this young woman with the dress is finer than a Mother Effer. WOW if anyone knows who she is please message me a if so I can link her. Who knows she might just be my future wife or children’s mother. hardknox@biyololo.com.

  6. As a commuter haven’t gotten a raise in years and so as other so how can we give you an increase. If the kitchen is hot get out of the kitchen.

  7. Almost 40 years no serious change in st.lucia
    Corona virus and the vaccine killing people high cost of living killing us ignorance and stupidity killing the youth now they want to increase bus fares increase people salary we need a medium wage $20 a hour government and private sectors.

  8. So in essence your are saying since all of the above had increase except my salary which makes life harder, that now is a good time for you the bus driver to hike my bus fair so that it will be just a little more harder for me to get by? Oh is that so? Stuuuppess!

  9. We lucians are a bunch of cowards and I said “we”….. why aren’t we protesting for a dam minimum wage so some ppl can stop working for scraps….the cost of living is high and getting higher in this pandemic…..we need to reduce the cases but what’s the point of 10 passengers? Can u do social distancing on the buses?? We use our freedom and gather for functions…..fetes and don’t practice the protocols….now we are getting the bk lash…..what if drivers strike then what the majority going to do to get to work??
    We do need to watch both side of the coin and not be bias and political as we all need to eat!!!

  10. An investor has a responsibility to inform his clientele as well as his financiers if the reality in business. They can take it frim tgat point then decide the best way forward. That is called business.

  11. @car pool you gonna strike against minibus drivers and then what?…you gonna pay taxi or walk?

  12. I like the comments – lets support the imported items more to create employment overseas while we neglecting our own. Boy even greenfig gone up… life going to be sweet ahead.. the PM already said the country is broke … what is going on with these ppl

  13. We in St Lucia pay the highest fares for bus in the entire Caribbean. Yet these unprofessional drivers always want an increase or some kind of stimulus from government. These drivers are so dunce that they don’t realize that Ferdinand neglects his post for months sometimes years, once government is ready to pay a subsidy he reimmerges like a thief in the night. To be honest if there is one sector that has not suffered are bus drivers cause only a very small minority followed the Protocols on the number of persons on a bus.

  14. on the contrary consumers cannot afford to pay more for water, electricity, airline tickets, and items at supermarkets, as salaries have not increased in the last ten years and consumer prices have been increasing steadily every day, and it seems to have jumped even more so in the last two years, with no input from the consumer protection agencies, price control or the government (past and present.)

  15. Some waiting one hour before the curfew for the bus to full even when it 9pm some still waiting for a full load what we do all us just get off the bus and go on the side of the road for a moving bus and leave his a$$ there he turn and go home. At least if they had better customer service but majority don’t

  16. The prime minister said no increase and no back pat for public servants for 3 years and nobody eh say nothing.

  17. Greedy bastards with zero customer service. Bad manners and bad attitudes. There are a few among you that are decent I have sympathy for

  18. It is now time that mini bus operators have no more than 1 bus operating on any 1 route. They were making lots of money that is why many bus operators have up to 7 buses on bus routes. Carry 4 less passengers or 5 less at any one time is a challenge for them? Really. They can still drop off and pick up passengers along the routes. What about the challenges private sector workers are facing with 3 or 4 days a week and 5 hours or less a day. They too have to face high priced goods at the supermarket they too have loans and mortgages and pay utility bills. Plus many have not gotten an increase in salary in years. Should they complain asked the government to remove vat or some financial assistance too? These bus drivers keep complaining and complaining every time they must sacrifice for a short time. It cannot be business as usual and things you used to do before you need to cut down or erase completely off your list. If government hep bus drivers they must help every citizen because we all are suffering from the pandemic.

  19. All of you want increases, which will have to be absorbed by no other than the commuters and public. But the government do not like to give a fair pay, and the private sector will take from the poor man to give to the rich (opposite of Robin hood). So how on earth are we supposed to be able to afford your increase in bus fare? And when we get to the point where we can’t afford it, you will lose customers and lose revenue is that what you Monkeys want?

  20. When will them ignorant minibus drivers stop hijacking the country? This government in particular has encouraged this for years. So when you ask of an increase in bus fare. Won’t it become a extra burden on the commuters who in-turn will ask for an increase in salary, which both the private sector and government cannot afford at this time?

    Why don’t government encourage commuters to have a strike against minibus drivers. The country need to strike against them ignorant bus drivers.

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