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Bus Operators, LTA At Loggerheads Again

the Fiji Bus Operators Association and the Land Transport Authority were at loggerheads once again yesterday. High on the list of complaints by the bus operators to the regulatory body
17 May 2015 10:32
Bus Operators, LTA At Loggerheads Again

the Fiji Bus Operators Association and the Land Transport Authority were at loggerheads once again yesterday.

High on the list of complaints by the bus operators to the regulatory body was on the issuance of Rural Service Licences for routes that were already serviced.

Why does LTA have to issue the licence when there’s already a bus operator in the route? asked newly-elected president Parmod Chand.

Mr Chand’s concerns were raised during the association’s Annual Convention at the Novotel Suva Lami Bay Hotel yesterday.

The association’s claim was that buses in a number of instances were running without any passengers while the RSL vehicles did in the rural areas.

“Our major concern is where bus trips are operating they continue to issue RSL which they (LTA) should not!” Mr Chand voiced.

“It was supposed to be given to people and places where there is no public transport or bus service. But this has become a licence to open up everything just like that!”

Mr Chand said some form of control should be implemented so that it too protects the bus operators and that they can generate income.

There should be some form of control, where the bus operator is aware of the situation and can challenge the decision, he added.

But the Rural Service Licence is a Government initiative that enables public transport provision to be efficient and regular.

Hence, in the instance where a Rural Service Licence is granted to an applicant, it is understood the operator of the route need not be consulted.

An association member asked why the operator was being blindsided by LTA when the regulatory body prided itself in transparency.

In rebuttal, the Land Transport Authority argued that the guidelines for Public Service Vehicles were different from that of RSLs.

Former LTA employee Frances Kinivuwai who is now the acting director transport planning for the Ministry of Industry said: “Bus operators are not consulted directly but it does not mean that it stops operators from asking the information from LTA.

“You and I know the process is different for RSL and is different for PSV permits. There is no consultation because the processes are not the same.

“We don’t give you the opportunity to object to it or not to object to it. But it does not stop you from getting the information from LTA.”

However, she added that LTA was working on this issue to allow transparency and that the application process is actually taking place.

Feedback:  ranobab@fijisun.com.fj

 




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