NATION

Abraham: No Plans To Raise Bus Fare

Mr Abraham said he acknowledged the fact that operation costs had increased for the companies as the last review took place a decade ago.
11 Jan 2020 10:56
Abraham: No Plans To Raise Bus Fare
Joel Abraham.

There will be no bus fare increase on Monday and students will have no problem travelling to school by bus.

That’s the reassurance from the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission (FCCC).

Its chief executive officer, Joel Abraham, said the machinery to decide whether to increase bus fares or not was not set in motion. He has also come out saying that the process would be fair and in no way would they be pressured to reach a decision.

“There is nationwide interest because it has an immediate effect on the travelling public,” Mr Abraham said.

“For the immediate future we want to ensure that bus services are accessible by all when schools open on Monday.”

The FCCC received submissions and letters from Fiji Bus Operators Association in November. In the past week, the bus operators had made public statements that the industry was “on the verge of collapse”.

Dominion Transport Limited of Nadi has stopped servicing its routes, however discussions between the company management and Mr Abraham resulted in the company continuing its services.

“Some companies have come out and said, look we don’t have any more money and we cannot run the service. People have said this and continued to run,” Mr Abraham said.

“I think it is about managing things properly and there are times when they need to be guided. Some of these companies have been family owned and some of them don’t have a proper system of governance in place.

“We will not be pressured or pushed into doing something and that is why I have said we will follow the due process. And at no time will we expedite it and cut corners just because somebody is putting pressure.

“I am here to see that we do right by the Fijian people. I am here to ensure that Jone in the village who doesn’t know how financial systems should work or how bus fare tariff is calculated, gets the right determination.

“So, when he pays the fare, he knows that someone has checked it and that’s my job. I will check to see he gets fairly treated. And I will not compromise that in any way.”

Mr Abraham said he acknowledged the fact that operation costs had increased for the companies as the last review took place a decade ago.

He said the first thing for FCCC to do was to finalise the mechanism they would undertake for the review of bus fares. He said public consultation would happen as it is required and they were not looking for a band-aid solution.

Members of the bus travelling public have shown disapproval even at the thought of an increment, saying this would definitely impact the cost of living.

Mr Abraham said they would keep the public updated as the process takes place.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback: shalveen.chand@fijisun.com.fj

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