Public Works Minister, Juan Edghill says the Guyana Government will not authorise any increase in public transportation fares at this time.
He made this disclosure during a press conference today. His pronouncement comes against the backdrop of commuters complaining that they are being asked to pay more to travel.
The Guyana Standard has noted that some West Bank Demerara hire car operators are insisting that commuters pay an additional $20 for short drops. One operator told this publication that increases in gas prices have prompted this measure. But the Guyana Government has been shouldering the increases with the removal of excise tax on fuel since May of this year.
Another operator said that the imposed hike is not a direct result of high gas prices, but a reaction to the high cost of living in the country. She said that with the prices of basic food items almost doubling within the last three months, taxi drivers are forced to “mek up”.
Speaking during a media conference at the ministry’s Wight’s Lane office today, Minister Edghill said: “We have made it very clear we are not authorising any increase of fares…If the government is subsidising the consumer and the operator, how could the operator go to the consumer and ask to be paid more? …Whether it’s minibuses, taxis or speedboats, we have said ‘no’”.