By Aaron Humes: Will the blow of a hike in bus fares be softened?
It depends on the decision of the Cabinet after Minister of Transport Rodwell Ferguson’s latest meeting with bus operators on Wednesday in Belmopan, at which the outlines of an agreement are shaping up.
By April 15, commuters will know just how much more they will pay. Ferguson told PLUS News that the hikes will be structured per the number of miles per route, with increases ranging from 25 cents to a dollar – but still well below what bus operators asked for. Therefore, the Cabinet will have to decide whether bus companies will also get a fuel subsidy.
“We are saying that anything between 12 miles and below is 25 cents. Anything between 12 miles and 31 miles is 50 cents. Anything after 31 miles is a dollar increase. So, that is what we came up with. That is still not enough for them. So, when we go with the subsidy, they should get an increase plus a subsidy.”
Ferguson said he had to tell operators that they cannot always get what they want and that Cabinet’s decision is collective, but it appears they understand and are grateful for the chance to bargain on the issue.
The further deadline looming on operators is a directive to upgrade their fleets by the end of the year or face being taken off the road. We’ll have more on what the Ministry is doing in that regard in a separate story.