BY MAVIS NISHIMURA PODOKOLO
HONIARA City Council has warned bus owners that increasing bus fares without any legal proceeding is illegal and that HCC will interrogate buses that charged $5 yesterday.
Mayor of Honiara City Hon Andrew Mua said his office has received a number of reports about the buses charging $5 to passengers yesterday and now they are compiling reports to identify and penalise the buses.
He said those buses who charge $5 bus fare have breached certain HHC laws and HCC will deal with the issue accordingly.
Mua said strategy to catch and interrogate the buses are in place and there will be no escape for buses who try to play foul.
He said that one strategy is to arrest and question the buses when they (buses) go to HCC to buy their business licence.
“Some of the buses who charged five dollars bus fare are yet to buy their license at HCC and this give us a higher chance to identify the buses base on the reports we received so far.
“They will be summoned when they turned up to pay their licences,” he said.
Mua said his office has never announced that there will be an increase of bus fare when endorsing the Honiara new bus route.
He stressed those buses who charge $5 fare are confused or treat the Honiara new bus route transition period as an opportunity to get more income.
This paper understands that an interim Honiara city bus owners association clearly stated during their meeting on Sunday that bus fares will remain the same.
Spokesperson for the association Mr Walter Maesugea said there is no point to increase the bus fare as decision made was to diminish short route issues and not to increase the busfare.
He said the interim bus association will talk with HCC about the issue and decision made during their discussion will be final.
This paper is yet to receive any information or the outcome of the interim bus association and HCC’s meeting.
They were supposed to have met yesterday.