Editorial

Editorial: Increase In Bus Fare Will Catch Many By Surprise

Last Friday the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission had approved the new rate. It becomes effective today. The short notice of the 36.30% increase will catch the majority by surprise; expect commotion and drama this morning.
13 May 2022 12:45
Editorial: Increase In Bus Fare Will Catch Many By Surprise
This was the scene a Suva bus stand as mostly people who are working were only seen coming into the City on January 11, 2022 . Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Interestingly a handful of drivers were not aware of the new bus fare.

Last Friday the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission had approved the new rate.

It becomes effective today.

The short notice of the 36.30% increase will catch the majority by surprise; expect commotion and drama this morning.

 

The lack of information and advice is unbecoming; commuters need to be given ample time to readjust their budget as majority of those that use the bus service are between the slightly above the poverty line and those under the poverty line bracket.

Some households might need to forgo some necessary items now that the bus fare has increased.

Students’ bus fare has also increased by fifty per cent of the new adult fare.

 

Classic Buses Limited Nadi Branch perations Manager Siteri Bakani at the bus yard.  Photo: Salote Qalubau

Classic Buses Limited Nadi Branch perations Manager Siteri Bakani at the bus yard. File Photo: Salote Qalubau

No notices or information have been visible in buses since Friday last week to advise commuters of the new rates.

Of course there are monumental changes in the global market and the global hike in fuel costs; these are beyond us.

There is desperate need to dress up our local front for service providers to improve their service delivery.

 

There should have been more public awareness.

The new bus fare is that the Stage one fares increase from $0.75 to $1.02, Stage two fares will increase from $1.18 to $1.61 and so on.

Stages one and two commuters now pay 27 cents and 43 cents more (one way) – this is equivalent to $2.70 and $4.10 more for five days.

 

The Ministry of Education has confirmed that they will subsidise the blue e-Transport cards for students; these will be topped up automatically today to cater for the bus fare increase.

They are urging students to continue using their blue cards as they have been doing.

The bus industry plays a vital role in enabling about 70 per cent of Fijians to commute daily.

School Students at the Suva Bus Stand after school on Tuesday, February 21, 2022. File Photo: Leon Lord.

School Students at the Suva Bus Stand after school on Tuesday, February 21, 2022. File Photo: Leon Lord.

According to FCCC the increase in fares will allow bus companies to remain operational and provide uninterrupted services.

While Fijians will start feeling the pinch in their pockets bus companies must improve their standard of delivery.

Fijians deserve to travel safely.

Commuters travelling more than 30 minutes to reach their destination must not be standing through their journey.

 

Bus operators need to make sure that there is a sufficient number of buses in their fleet to accommodate the rush hours.

Buses contribute to atmospheric and noise pollution.

The principal reasons for pollution are caused by poorly maintained vehicles.

 

suva-bus-stand-680x365

Stringent checks should be made on buses not to leave their engines on while parked in loading zones.

Bus checkers should see that passengers embark and disembark at designated zones for safety reasons.

This week at the Suva Bus Stand a bus checker was comfortably sitting and not blinking an eye when a group of infant students (Years 1 & 2) were boarding a moving bus.

 

A busload of commuters had to cue outside in the rain because the e-ticketing machine was not reading.

These are just a few of the many issues they should have considered beforehand.

These improvements would have been guaranteed had there been constructive dialogue(s) beforehand.
Feedback: karalaini.waqanidrola@fijisun.com.fj



Fijisun Ad Space


Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.


By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.


Subscribe-to-Newspaper