Linden “short drop” drivers propose keeping 50% fare increase
Operators of Linden “short drop” taxis have made a proposal to the Linden Mayor and Town Council (LM&TC) to keep a 50 per cent increase in fares. In a meeting hosted on Thursday, representatives of the hire car and bus operators consulted with members of the Council and the Guyana Police Force. During the meeting, the hire car drivers who ply the Mackenzie to Wisroc and Mackenzie to Amelia’s Ward routes also highlighted numerous concerns. The LM&TC in a statement issued on Friday noted that “they proposed to the Council that due to the pandemic and the protection of the lives of our citizens, they will continue to transport three passengers at the cost of $150 per person. The Council proposed that this be shared with the citizens and invite the associations to begin their public consultations by speaking to the passengers, and presenting same on radio and television,” the statement said.
The statement added that the Council stands firm on its decision that school children should continue to pay the original cost of $100 and that consideration should be given to senior citizens, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also outlined that drivers plying the Georgetown to Linden route were invited to the Council’s Markets and Security meeting to present their proposal, as it relates to parking.
“The Council is open to hearing the concerns of our residents as to this move that the drivers have proposed, as we look to ensure the safety and economic development of our township,” the statement read.
The hire car operators recently staged a strike action, over the proposal by the authorities to have them return to their regular transportation costs. The drivers, mainly “hundred-dollar car” operators who operate within Linden and those who ply the Linden to Georgetown routes, had increased their fares owing to the reduction to a 75 per cent capacity based on COVID-19 social distancing guidelines. The hire cars had increased the fare from one hundred to two hundred dollars. However, in light of Government’s decision for vehicles to return to carrying the usual number of passengers, the regional authorities have urged that they return to their original fares. But according to some drivers, the main concern is the move to return to the normal seating capacity owing to COVID-19 risks. (G13)