Second phase of the taxi fare increase, delayed

The second phase of the taxi fare increase, initially slated to take effect on April 1, has been delayed. 

This after representatives of the public transport sector, and the government, met yesterday, and agreed to a deferral of the fare increase.

Last year, the government approved a 35 percent fare increase for operators of Public Passenger Vehicles, PPV.

The increase was split in 2 phases, with the first 19 percent taking effect last October, and the remaining 16 percent scheduled for April 1.

A statement from the Transport Ministry last evening, explained that yesterday’s meeting involved portfolio Minister Daryl Vaz, Finance Minister Dr. Nigel Clarke, other ministry officials, a Transport Authority management team, members of the Transport Operators Steering Committee, and some transport sector leaders.

As the parties discussed the matter of the impending 16 percent increase, Dr. Clarke outlined the reasons behind the request for a deferral.

Dr. Clarke said the government recognized the hardships faced by members of the PPV sector and that the government is aware of what a fare increase would mean for them.

The minister however cited the need to maintain inflation in single digits, in order to keep the country’s economy on course.

He noted that the transportation sector has one of the largest impacts on inflation.  

Meanwhile, Mr. Vaz commended the p-p-v operators for their understanding and their acceptance of the deferral.

Mr. Vaz gave his commitment to collaborate with the operators, to identify and come to some agreements, as it relates to other incentives. 

As such, Mr. Vaz has mandated the Transport Operators Steering Committee, to meet and design a comprehensive transportation incentive framework, which would take into account measures that would have less adverse impacts on inflation. 

The minister also assured the PPV operators that several of their concerns will be addressed, in the upcoming fiscal year.

These include, replenishing rolling stock through an adjustment to the Motor Vehicle Import Policy; implementing the Driver Training Programme; and upgrading transport centres islandwide.


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