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From today, commuters using public transportation across Guyana will have to pay more.The Guyana Public Transportation Association (GPTA) made this announcement yesterday during a media conference.The GPTA released a new minibus fare structure which comes into effect today.The body says that the hike is inevitable against the backdrop of skyrocketing prices for fuel and essential spare parts.The short drop fare for mini buses is now $80, up from $60. The fare for longer destinations has also seen a $20 increase.GPTA President Nicholas Nnami noted that the last official increase was in May 2005, and since then every item has increased while fares remain the same.He said the public transportation industry has been facing a crisis, and there is really no other way to cushion the effects of the skyrocketing fuel and spare parts prices for minibus operators.“While we strongly sympathize with the general public, there is little we can do to assist in this area at present,” said Nnami.He went on to explain that gasoline was presently more than $1000 per gallon, and the increase would allow the transportation industry to survive. The press conference also allowed for clarification concerning the new minibus parks.Hilbert Archer,Cheap Jerseys China, the Advisor to the President of the General Minibus Association of Guyana (GMAG), explained that, for the most part, the transition into the new minibus parks was going well. He nevertheless, noted that there were a few minibuses that are, ‘very undisciplined.’He explained that the Police were issuing tickets and charging minibuses that do not adhere to the new parks and continue to pick up and drop off passengers outside of their designated areas.Archer also took the opportunity to explain that Digicel had already come on board to assist in upgrading the minibus parks.He noted that the imminent added-lighting system will provide the minibus parks with adequate light and will also act as a deterrent to crime.He mentioned that the General Minibus Association of Guyana (GMAG) was waiting for additional sponsors to join its efforts so that the minibus parks could be, ‘fully upgraded.’Meanwhile, Compton Giddings, Public Relations Officer of the Guyana Public Transportation Association (GPTA), responding to a question of overloaded minibuses,Authentic NFL Jerseys Cheap, said that most minibuses do not carry overload.He placed the blame squarely on a few minibuses, which he described as ‘boomers,’ that carry overloads and have loud music. He went on to say that these ‘boomers’ were owned by prominent persons in the country, and as such were ‘untouchable.’Lylon Weithers,Cheap MLB Jerseys Authentic, President of the GMAG, stressed that passengers need to take affirmative action when minibuses they are travelling in carry overloads. He advised commuters to simply refuse to move over when minibus operators try to take an overload.“Passengers have their role to play,” explained Weithers, as he affirmed that the Police also have their own role to play in curbing overloads in minibuses.While the Ministry of Trade,Jerseys NFL Cheap, Industry and Commerce has been made aware of the move by the GPTA to increase the minibus fares, it has not necessarily authorized it.Nnami highlighted that the ministry does not have the authority to challenge the increase, but said it has been informed of the increase as a matter of courtesy.According to Nnami, the GPTA met with Minister Prashad,Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys, and they informed him of their move, after presenting him with the relevant documents and paperwork.The minister was given a deadline of Thursday,Cheap Jerseys From China, 3 July, 2008 by which to respond to the GPTA. Nnami said that the minister failed to contact the GPTA, and as such, it went ahead with the fare hike.The new minibus fare structure has affected almost all bus routes. Children will be asked to pay half of the adult fare. Copies of the new minibus fare structure should be on display in minibuses, as copies have been distributed to various minibus operators.Minibus fares are determined jointly by the GPTA, the GMAG and minibus operators.The minibus fares are not expected to increase again before the end of the year.
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