NEWS

Fiji Bus Operators Fail To Justify Bus Fare Review Plea

Discussions did not get far because bus operators failed to provide the financial information requested.
07 Feb 2019 15:54
Fiji Bus Operators Fail To Justify Bus Fare Review Plea
Fiji Bus Operators Association (FBOA) President Richard Lal followed by general secretary Rohit Latchan and association members after their meeting with Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission (FCCC) Chief Executive Officer, Joel Abraham on February 6, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Independent Bus Fare Review Committee chairperson Joel Abraham says they cannot justify an increase in bus fares at this time because of incomplete information on the part of bus operators.

Members of the Fiji Bus Operators Association (FBOA) met Joel Abraham at the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission Office in Suva yesterday.

The matter for discussion was FBOA’s long standing application for a fare review, but the discussion did not get far as bus operators failed to provide the financial information requested.

Mr Abraham had also invited individual bus owners who participated in the discussions.

“We have asked bus operators to give us the cost information for 2018,” Mr Abraham said.

“The bus industry is claiming that costs have increased from 2017-2018 post implementation of e-Ticketing, increase in wages and fuel price increases.

“We had asked them to give us the 2017 financial information which they have, but only a handful have given their 2018 financial information.”

He said they would need to make cost comparisons before they could determine if the costs had indeed increased.

“From the financial statements that we have seen, there are other areas like depreciation which has increased,” Mr Abraham said.

“General expenses and legal costs have increased so we want them to be able to give us this information so that we can compare.”

He added they would consider their submissions but FBOA needed to justify it with evidence.

FBOA president Richard Lal said they would be discussing with individual bus operators on the timelines for submitting the data required.

The FBOA is seeking a 15.48 per cent increase in bus fares.
Edited by Percy Kean

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