BY MAVIS NISHIMURA PODOKOLO
A huge number of local bus owners, drivers and conductors teamed up together to protest against the new bus routes endorsed by the Honiara City Council.
The basis of their plea was to increase the bus fares to $5 rate for the new bus routes.
Mayor for Honiara City Hon Andrew Mua said HCC did not enforce any new rule in relation to the new bus routes, “but these are old rules in the law of HCC which are re-introduced for bus users, owners and operators to comply with”.
He said the only change endorsed is having the new routes for buses who operate on the main road which includes the long routes from White River to Honiara Central Market, Honiara Central Market to White River, Honiara Central Market to KG, KG to Honiara Central Market, Honiara Central Market to Naha, Naha to Honiara Central Market and Honiara Central Market to Naha Kola, Naha Kola to Honiara Central Market.
Giving his comment on the bus fare issue, Mua said the decision to increase bus fares is not HCC’s mandated role but the national government’s role and that any unnecessary increase of bus fare is illegal.
He said the bus business is everybody’s freedom but that it is the HCC’s mandate to determine which route every bus must follow.
Mua said the interim Honiara city bus owners association has already met on Sunday and did consult HCC with their outcome statements and now they are currently working on the constitution of the association to have quality and standard bus services in the city.
Police Commander for Honiara City Mr Alfred Uiga described the bus owners’ protest yesterday as ‘unlawful action’.
He advised drivers and conductors to stay away from such unlawful actions and allow their owners via the bus association to deal with such issues.