Govt affirms stance against increases in public transportation fares

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Boats docked at Bartica, Region Seven in the Essequibo River

Public Works Minister, Bishop Juan Edghill has called on citizens to report any instances of overcharging in the public transportation sector, assuring that these will be swiftly addressed by the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD), and the Ministry.

He gave the assurance on Tuesday at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, as the Parliamentary Committee of Supply approved $79 million in supplementary funding for the provision of additional resources to support the Transport and Harbours Department.

The Minister was responding to concerns raised by Opposition Member of Parliament Juretha Fernandes regarding operators requesting more than the approved fare of $2500 for passengers travelling the Parika/Bartica route.

Taking into consideration the Christmas season, when such exploitation becomes more frequent, Minister Edghill reminded that the government has not approved any increases in fares.

“All speedboat services in Guyana operate and are regulated by the Maritime Administration Department. The speedboats put themselves into a turn system, and they are organised by their respective associations. However, MARAD, nor the government of Guyana have sanctioned, approved or condoned overcharging from minibuses, speedboats, or even when it comes to aircraft fares. We pay careful attention to these, and we have been monitoring it,” he said.

The Minister added that the government is dedicated to the maintenance of law and order, as well as protecting citizens from exploitation.

Importantly, he highlighted that operators benefit from government concessions, such as the removal of excise tax on fuel to cushion the global rise in fuel prices.