Transport: No increase in jitney fares

Transport: No increase in jitney fares
Jitney file photo

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Ministry of Transport and Local Government yesterday advised public bus fares have not increased.

“The Ministry of Transport and Local Government wishes to advise the public that there has been no increase in jitney fares by the Government of The Bahamas; despite rumors to the contrary,” read the statement.

“The public is further advised that the schedule of jitney fares remains the same.”

In recent weeks, bus operators have called on the government to increase the current $1.25 bus fare to $2.00, in order to help offset the reduction in passenger capacity and increased costs.

On Wednesday, United Public Transportation Company’s President Harrison Moxey said that drivers are now operating at 20 percent as a result of the pandemic fallout.

The country officially reopened its borders to international travel on Wednesday, also ushering the resumption of public transportation.

Buses and taxis have been shuttered since mid-March, when the government decided to take drastic measures to mitigate against the local spread of COVID-19.

“The cost has not been increased as yet and right now on the roads the public awareness of those things ain’t up right now, so the buses really operating 20 – 30 percent right now,” Moxey told Eyewitness News.

“Most people aren’t moving and the hotels aren’t opened as yet, particularly for those in the west. So it’s really a hard move right now.”

Moxey indicated that while they will wait and see how the industry rebounds post-COVID-19 closures, “it’s not a pretty picture at all”.

“The increase for us right now is very very crucial,” he said.