THE Consumer Council of Fiji has urged relevant authorities to take immediate action on the bad road conditions in a district in Bua which have led to villagers spending more than $40 to hire carriers.
The statement came after a bus company withdrew its services from the area citing bad road conditions where villagers have had to spend extra $40 to $60 on carrier charges from Nasawana to Daria.
Council chief executive Premila Kumar said they were deeply concerned that villagers had to fork out extra money to hire carriers to reach to their destinations.
"With the cost of living skyrocketing, it is very difficult for an average consumer to spend $40 to $60 for a single trip in a day," Mrs Kumar said in a statement.
"Poor road conditions and bus companies suspending service have been a prolonged issue where the travelling public suffers to a large extent and also motorists are paying hefty road levies," she said.
"The council is reiterating the need for route licenses to be put on tender to allow other operators to provide effective bus services in areas where people have been suffering for a long time," she added.
Mrs Kumar said the tendering process would not only allow bus operators with an equal opportunity to service new routes but consumers would also experience services from different operators.
"Bus service is essential to consumers in the country given the recent increase in taxi fares and we are urging authorities to step in and take actions immediately."
Fiji Road Authority spokesman Iliesa Sokia earlier said upgrading works in the district would commence next week.
Mr Sokia said once they completed the roadworks in Natewa Bay, Cakaudrove, they would commence operations in Wainunu.