Buses, taxis warned against increasing their fare rates

Buses and Taxis are warned against increasing their fares
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BUSES and taxis are warned against increasing their fares.

Stephen Maesiola, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Infrastructure Development, made the reminder after last week’s protest by bus drivers to increase their fares from $3 to $5.

Also, the Taxi Association proposed over the weekend to increase the Kilometer rate from $10 to $15 and the hourly rate from $100 to $150.

These proposed fare increases came in the wake of the continuing fuel prices.

Maesiola told Island Sun the National Transport Board is still to meet over the fare increases.

He said a working committee consisting of Honiara City Council, Price Control Unit in the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration and MID will need to meet with the Bus and Taxi Association before forwarding the proposal to NTB.

He said there are representatives of Bus Association and Taxi Association in the NTB.

Island Sun understands some buses have charged $5 from Honiara Central Market to Lunga because it is outside the boundary of the city.

Passengers who get off before Lunga can still pay $3.

However, some buses imposed $5 within the city, which resulted in heated exchanges between passengers and bus conductors.

Some passengers threatened to report the buses to police when the bus conductors refused to give them change of their bus fares.

As a result, the bus conductors returned the change money to the passengers.

Honiara City Council Mayor, Eddie Siapu said whilst he sympathises with the bus owners, he asked for them to maintain the $3 fare.

“As we’re heading towards the 44th Independence Anniversary, let us have the spirit of one and unity to support each other,” Siapu said.

The Lord Mayor appeals for calm and understanding from the general public in this matter.