Categorized | Featured, National News

Bus Drivers Told to Halt Fare Increase or Face Tribunal


Keile Campbell
Journal Staff Writer

Bus drivers who increased their fare cost prematurely could possibly face the Industrial
Tribunal if reported, according to Minister of Transport and Housing Jobeth Colby-Davis.
It is speculated that some bus drivers may have raised their fares from $1.25 to $1.50.
According to Minister Colby-Davis, the set fare date is still to be set by Cabinet, and then
presented to the public.
“I think we already provide clarity through a press statement where the effective date of that
bus increase has not been set by Cabinet as yet. And we’ve actually requested opportunity to
have a public dialogue and so we will be organizing a few public town hall meetings. I think
about two or three of them before the end of the year, so that we can get an approved
effective date for the fare increase to come into effect,” Minister Coleby-Davis said, adding
that bus drivers should not have risen their fares already.
“That should not be the case and if that is happening, then they should report it to the Road
Traffic Department so we can put it before the tribunal.”
President of the Bahamas Unified Bus Drivers Union Rudolph Taylor spoke with The
Bahama Journal and insisted that, though he does not want to get into a back and forth with
the minister, he was informed that the new bus fare would be gazetted and then the public
would be notified on the increase.
“That town hall meeting was supposed to happen in the month of April and it never
happened. So, after I was told to advise the bus drivers, operators as well as franchise holders,
as to what was in place with the government as to what they’re gonna do, I went ahead and I
proceeded to do such in the month of April. The drivers were expecting by now an increase
and so because of this, some may feel that either the union was lying or the minister was
lying as to why we came and told them what we said,” Mr. Taylor explained.
“So, because of this, they felt that as if it’s just he say, she say back and forth. Now I don’t
know exactly what the stance is or what to say on the situation, but the minister should and
could give a clarity on it. She says there’s gonna be a few town hall meetings.”
According to the bus drivers’ union leader, the increase was supposed to happen from back in
April, having called for a rise in bus fare since 2008.
Mr. Taylor said he’s still waiting to be informed of further information concerning the town
hall meetings.
“We understand that we got a waiver of the licensing and inspection fees and we appreciated
it, but the buck stops there,” Mr. Taylor explained, while adding that his union members are
asking questions.

“When we had discussions with the minister, we made it aware that persons are appreciative
of the busing industry and because of this, even those who do not pay the $1.25, or the $1.50,
some of them understand the plight that the bus drivers are in – they pay even more. Some
are comfortable paying $2, some even $3 and that was something throughout out meetings
we discussed.”
Though he explained that bus drivers are appreciative of the relief they’ve received so far
from the minister, however, he explained that the price of diesel has increased – a frustrating
point for bus drivers.
According to Mr. Taylor, after a meeting between the union and the minister of transport and
housing in March, the public was supposed to be notified on the raising of the bus fare in
April, with the increase set to happen in the summer.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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