Government’s plan to offer a discount to frequent riders on the Transport Board buses amid an impending 75 per cent increase in bus fares has been welcomed by Opposition Leader Joseph Atherley.
Atherley, who has voiced concern that the increase in bus fares from $2 to $3.50 was too much to ask Barbadians to bear, contends that the discount would offer some ease to those who depended on public transportation.
He told Barbados TODAY: “I am glad for the discounted arrangement, which would have been referred to on Monday by Prime Minister Mia Mottley. Those discounts should help to ameliorate the burden on those who would feel it most, especially in these harsh economic times.”
In her wrap up of the Budget debate, Mottley outlined which tickets will be made available and the value of the trips.
Transferrable tickets are to be sold in denominations of 10, 14, 20, and 28 trips, with discounts ranging from 30 cents to 50 cents per bus ride. The Prime Minister indicated that instead of paying the full fare of $3.50, each trip could drop to $3.
A ten-trip ticket will cost $32, saving $3; a 14-trip ticket at $44, saving $5; a 20-trip ticket $62, or $8 cheaper; and a 28-trip ticket of $82 will save $14, the Prime Minister revealed.
Indicating that the tickets were transferrable, Mottley said: “The beauty in this is that also these tickets
can be used by your children or neighbour or whoever else because what is being clicked is the ticket and not the individual.”
Mottley also revealed that efforts were being made to have privately owned Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) put similar systems in place for high-volume users.
But Atherley told Barbados TODAY that the Prime Minister needed to clarify just how the system is going to work, noting that with the exception of the soon-to-be-resumed Transport Augmentation Programme (TAP) – a mix of public and privately-run services on individual routes – privately-owned PSVs did not adhere to a schedule.
He said: “I still have a lot of questions regarding how it is going to work out especially if the private sector operators are going to be part of the arrangement. It is a ticketing system apparently so I have some questions as to how this ticketing system will work with those operators. So, I am anxiously awaiting the full roll out to see how it is all going to work.”