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Minibus union, govt agree to drop Route 32 fares temporarily

Passengers travelling on Route 32 buses (Georgetown to Parika) are expected to pay lower fares in keeping with a temporary agreement reached between the Ministry of Commerce and the United Minibus Union (UMU), the Government Information Agency (GINA) said on Monday.

All short drops in zone 32 to be immediately reduced to $80 from $100; and Georgetown to Parika to $ 400, from the current $500 currently demanded from passengers.

The interim agreement was reached at meeting held Saturday between the ministry and UMU to discuss the minibus situation countrywide.

The two sides have agreed to meet within the next two weeks to discuss the UMU’s proposed fare structure in greater detail.

GINA said specific note has been made of the exorbitant fares now being demanded by drivers and conductors of Route 31 and 32 operators.The parties agreed this must cease forthwith.

Further, it was agreed:-
–        Minibus transport is essentially a small man’s mode of transportation and every effort must be explored to avoid an imposition of hardship on the commuting public

–      UMU will be meeting with the zone 31 minibuses on Monday, January 20, 2014 to discuss their grievances and explore solutions favourable to all stakeholders.

–       Fares must be displayed in all minibuses, and passengers will pay only what is posted and signed by the union, in conjunction with the Ministry. Law enforcement agencies will be asked to assist.

–       MinTIC will continue engaging the United Minibus Union with the hope of developing a cordial and mutually beneficial relationship, thereby creating a platform for positive and objective interaction. The Union will also intensify their high level engagement with the Ministry of Home Affairs, and Works and Transport.
 

Both parties are working to evaluate the case advance by UMU for reviewing and establishing acceptable structured fares, applicable to all minibus zones in Guyana; as well as a plan to improve the service to the consumers. This include: a dress code, (UMU’s contribution in making this a reality in the University of Guyana sub-zone was commended); eliminating touting, hot plating and overcrowding; respect for the elderly and minimising other uncaring practices.

The meeting noted with grave concern, a report with suggests that many minibuses are engaged in rogue behaviour, to which traffic policemen seem reluctant and incapable of moving against, are owned by law enforcement officials, and also persons attached to other state-owned agencies.