NATION

Tell us of Bus Complaints, Urges LTA Chairman

Land Transport Authority (LTA)  chairman Vijay Maharaj has urged members of the public to report bus companies that are not providing scheduled services. “We encourage people to use the complaint
29 Jan 2018 12:06
Tell us of Bus Complaints, Urges LTA Chairman
Saint Giles Hospital Telephone Operator Pranay Chand (right) with his wife Shaleen Chand at Clifton Road, Valelevu on January 26, 2018. Photo: Lusiana Tuimaisala.

Land Transport Authority (LTA)  chairman Vijay Maharaj has urged members of the public to report bus companies that are not providing scheduled services.

“We encourage people to use the complaint platform 582 by either text or phone in,” Mr Maharaj said.

The authority would look into complaints because it was important that companies provide services on time, he said.

This comes after, a physically challenged telephone operator of Saint Giles Hospital, Pranay Chand, told the Fiji Sun that  Nasese Bus Company has not been providing service in the Clifton Road area, in Valelevu.

Mr Chand claimed the bus company failed to provide bus services on  Friday,  January 19 and again on the next day.

Members of the public had to walk to the main road which was about a half-a-kilometre walk in order to catch a bus provided by another company.

“Just last week on Saturday, there was no bus service. There was only one bus at 10 am and another in the afternoon,” Mr Chand said.

“People have to catch a taxi or walk to their homes or their destinations.”

Mr Chand said he felt he was being deprived of his right.

“The Constitution gives every disabled person in the country equal rights to public transport,’’ Mr Chand said.

“And, by not providing service to the routes given, I am deprived of my right to public transport.

“I urge the authorities not to provide road service licence to Nasese Bus.

“ They can give it to any other company. I have no objection to any other company but not Nasese because the company does not know the meaning of public service vehicle.’’

However, Nasese Bus Director Jack Kumar said they have already advised that Nasese Bus Company only services the Clifton Road route in the morning – 6am, 6.15am and 6.30am.

“We only send the bus for three trips in the morning, we can’t send buses the whole day.”

Mr Kumar said the complainant Mr Chand knows and understands that the bus company only provides services in the morning and not the whole day.

“He knows that. He himself wants the bus to go wherever he wants to go. It is not like that, it’s not a taxi,”Mr Kumar said.

Mr Maharaj confirmed Traffic Infringement Notices (TIN) would be issued to drivers who fail to pick up passengers from their designated routes.

This, he said, was based on the grounds that drivers failed to stop the bus and pick passenger from designated bus stops, the conduct of drivers and failing to comply with public service vehicle provisions.

“The only time the driver may not stop and pick a passenger is when the passenger  is not using a bus stop or designated place where a bus picks passengers from and,  if the driver feels it would be too dangerous to stop and pick the passenger,” M Maharaj said.

Rohit Avinesh, another concerned resident, said bus services in the area highlighted by Mr Chand have normalised since he raised his concern to the company.

Mr Avinesh said there was a need for the company to relook at their morning schedules in the weekdays as the area had a good number of workers and students travelling in the morning.

“I don’t know for how long the bus service would be normal. If buses do not come on time school children and workers have to walk to the main road,’’ Mr Avinesh said.

“On Saturdays there are no buses and we hope the company would look into this also.”

Meanwhile, Fiji Bus Operators Association (FBOA) president Richard Lal said the association has not received any complaints but would look into the matter.

Edited by George Kulamaiwasa

Feedback:  losirene.lacanivalu@fijisun.com.fj



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