Linden “$100” car drivers strike

first_imgFuel price hike– signal fare increase from June 14Linden’s hire car drivers, referred to as “hundred dollar” short drop car drivers, struck on Monday over the recent hike in fuel prices and Government’s non-intervention.The Wisroc-Amelia’s Ward car parkThey have also signalled intent to increase fares in the Linden community. While some are awaiting 72 hours before facilitating the increases of an additional $40 and $100 to the existing $100 and $200 fares, others have already started implementing them.The drivers, who ply the Mackenzie to Wismar route, ceased operations for several hours on Monday morning, proposing through their association that the fare be moved from $100 to $140 for short drops and $200 to $300 for off-road jobs.Persons in the community have since noted that the effects will be significantly felt, since the cars are one of the main sources of public transportation in the community.“We, the drivers of the Wisroc/Amelia’s Ward short drop cars, are hereby notifying the general public that (there) (sic) will be an increase of cars fares from $100 to $140 for short drops and $300 off road. School children in uniform will pay $100. Out of uniform $140. This is effective from Thursday 14th June 2018,” the circular passed around to drivers with respect to the increases stated.Speaking with this publication, some drivers vented their frustration over the situation, noting that the gasoline prices have skyrocketed. “We know that when gasoline rises it affects everybody directly or indirectly. Gasoline would have risen so high that you have to pay extra money for the parts on your vehicle, the wear and tear and everything; therefore it affects us. I personally feel if they could drop the gasoline back or, we know they wouldn’t want to drop it back; so we’re calling for an increase in our fares. For quite some time, we’ve been operating at a hundred dollars even though prices have been going up. But in the month of May, the prices made a high jump from like $219 to like $235 a litre,” one of the car operators indicated.He added that he believes it is only fair that the fares increase to cushion the effects on drivers and vehicle owners. In support of the increase for off-road jobs, the driver pointed to the deplorable condition of the road in the community. “We got some terrible roads to deal with man…When you go to Wisroc (on) these roads, you have to go through trails, because the potholes are so numerous. Even the taxis are raising (costs) because the rising price of gas does not only affect the hundred-dollar cars, it affects the minibuses and the special hire taxis also,” he said. When asked if car operators will await the go ahead from Government before implementing the increases, the driver noted that the drivers are private operators and are therefore responsible for setting their own tariffs.Meanwhile, some drivers are not in support of the increases.Car operators plying the Linden- Georgetown route have so far not opted to increase their fares. “This what they doing ain’t making sense. You can’t punish the people by increasing fares, because nothing ain’t really going on in this place. Some people could barely afford it,” a Linden- Georgetown operator told this publication.However, another operator shared contrasting sentiments. “Right now I studying to park me car and go in the bush and work, because this here ain’t mekin sense. You got to full up your car with $9000 in the morning, and by time you make a trip you gotta full up again. It real hard!” he stated.Increase unfairHowever, passengers have touted that the increase in transportation fares are unfair.“For me personally, I think it’s unfair in Linden, because the distance they does drop these people is already short. Sometimes you going from the park to a short distance, is a hundred dollars. If you going til over the river is the same hundred dollars.Now they increasing by $40, come on. Everywhere else increasing by $20. Why they want $40 and $100? Is not like people get a raise of pay or anything,” one commuter noted. Another said she fears that the increased prices will remain even if gasoline price dropped.“When gas prices go up it does go up, and when it go down there is no guarantee that they will drop back the prices,” she said.No adjustmentsLinden Mayor Waneka Arindell on Monday informed the general public that the decision to increase “is not yet legitimate” and advised that “no adjustments be made to the current prices.” She added that her office has been in contact with the relevant authorities and was advised that current discussions are underway as it relates to the cost of fuel.“…Until we receive an official response from the relevant authorities, no increase in transportation costs should be made. Drivers are urged not to increase and commuters are urged not to pay any increases and to report cases where the demand for such increases are made,” she outlined. (Utamu Belle)last_img

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