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No approval for bus fare increase in Dominica say police

As Dominica bus drivers mull over a bus fare increase as a result of the recent hike in fuel prices, the police have stated that no approval has been made or granted for increase in fares and cautioned against this offense.

On March 11, 2022, prices of petroleum products increased from $13.95 per gallon of gasoline to $14.89, diesel from $12.95 to $13.91, kerosene $11.31 to $12.81 and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) from $37.85 to $39.00.

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This, of course, is due to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent fallout which has seen Russia hit with heavy sanctions from several territories, and global uncertainty shaking the fuel industry.

Director of Trade, Matthan Walter has since stated that these prices are not locally motivated, but based on global trends, and Dominica therefore, as a non-producer, adjusted its pricing structure.

However, according to the bus drivers, plying their usual route has now become an exercise in futility as their operations have been severely impacted and an already burdened “unsustainable” service further strained.

Speaking to Dominica News Online (DNO), President of the Combine Taxi Association, Phillip Guiste, stated that calls for fare increases by the bus drivers and other taxi operators are justified to offset some of the added costs placed on them.

“The last time we had an increase in bus fare was when the price of fuel was at $14.08 or so and that was a few years ago. Now, the fuel price has surpassed that figure as it is now $14.89 a gallon, so I think the price increase right now is something that needs to be considered so that the bus drivers  can break even on their expense,” Guiste said.

He further stated that an increase in freight has also hiked maintenance costs of the bus operators’ vehicles.

“The tires are more expensive, oil, and even parts we purchase to repair our vehicles. So we are not saying that only the increase in fuel should generate an increase but all other factors must be considered.”\

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A Mahaut bus driver who DNO spoke to says while they are concerned about the financial impact of a fuel price hike, they are equally worried about the potential impact on the pockets of their customers.

No approval for bus fare increase say police; commuters asked to report drivers who demand increases  Dominica News Online

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