IN a bid to provide more luxury services to commuters travelling short distances by buses, Raiwaqa Buses Limited has bought a new full air-condition bus
Director, Ashish Kumar said the investment cost them about $300,000.
Mr Kumar said the first bus was on a trial phase and they had planned to add more to its fleet.
He said the bus would provide short distance services in areas such as Nabua, Grantham Rd, University of the South Pacific, Laucala Bay, Flagstaff and to Suva bus terminal.
"The introduction of air-conditioned bus for short run means Fiji is entering into an entirely new era for the travelling public who use buses," he said.
"Much has been said about modernisation of buses and we have given what the public had asked for.
"I believe this is the first-time an air-conditioned bus service is being operated in Suva and the responses from the public would determine whether our next set of buses arriving in October will have air-condition provisions or not."
And with bus fares being a critical issue, he said they would now charge $1 flat rate compared to 70 cents charged previously.
"With the last stage merger our fare had moved to $1 for second stage but we kept the fare to 70 cents and now we will take full fare for the air-conditioned bus as approved by the Land Transport Authority," said Mr Kumar.
However, LTA spokesperson Alfred Wiliame, via electronic mail, said "We have spoken to Raiwaqa buses on Saturday and have advised them to refrain from that and follow the right conditions according to their road route licence."
"With in stages is 70 cents, however crossing into the next stage is $1," he said.
Consumer Council of Fiji chief executive officer Premila Kumar said the company should immediately stop charging $1 flat fare for the service provided by its new air-conditioned bus.
Mrs Kumar said the council had received complaints from the public about Raiwaqa Buses Limited.
"According to the approved bus fare structure, consumers should pay 70 cents for stage one and not $1 as charged by Raiwaqa Buses Limited."