East Canje hire car operators protest for increased fares

Hire car operators plying the New Amsterdam to East Canje route on Monday staged a protest calling for an increase in fares. The operators are demanding increases ranging from 60 to 100 per cent.
Only two weeks ago hire car operators plying the New Amsterdam to Rose Hall Town route protested for an increase while pointing out that the present fare structure needs to be rectified.
However, now the East Canje operators are claiming that fares are being increased for other areas while pointing out that they too are being affected by the same operational increases.
On Monday, the operators parked their vehicles at Canefield, East Canje, Berbice, holding plaque cards calling for the increase.
Shazim Harraynarine, one of the protesters related that for the past 19 years, he has been operating as a hire car driver, noting that since then, the fare has always been $100.
“The gas price gone up and we are not getting any free gas. Some of us have to pay $300 to work a man car and sometimes you only work for ‘Boss man’; nothing for you.”
He also pointed to the fines imposed for traffic violations, saying that they cannot earn the money in one day to pay for a traffic fine.
Another operator, Tony Lewis said they were protesting for increases because of the high cost of spare parts and petrol.
“There are a lot of bad streets that we have to go in, breaking up your car and we’re not getting enough money to look after it, so, we just decide to have a strike to get a raise of fare.”
The operators are nevertheless, proposing an increase from $100 to $160 for a short drop and from $100 to $200 for any ride to or from Gangarram.
“Since I going to school is $100 and I driving car for twelve years,” Lewis stated.
Subermanina Dormoo has been plying the New Amsterdam to East Canje route for the past twenty-seven years and could not recall the last time the fare was increased.
He noted that the cost of living has also tripled since the last increase. While the operators are calling for the increases, commuters say it is unreasonable and are calling on the intervention of the Government.
A very vocal mother of nine said even the $100 fare is difficult to pay at times. According to Lolita Suliman, she currently has three children who are attending school.
“Nine children are not easy to mind without a father and then when you come out with your children $160 or they leave on the street. It is wrong. We need the Government to look into this. I heard the Minister of Finance saying nothing raise in this country but we can’t even go, we can’t even buy and we can’t even come; we lef stick. Some morning you just could make $300 for three children go to school, they got to beg they friend fuh passage fuh come home…”
Hire car operators in the region have been arbitrarily increasing fares and to date, Government has remained mum. Similar increases have taken place in other parts of the country in recent times.