Bus firm in the spotlight

A SENIOR citizen has pleaded with bus companies to teach their drivers respect.

Macuata native Jone Rakai claimed an argument broke out between him and a bus driver at Dreketi on Vanua Levu during a stopover.

“On my way from Lekutu, I was told the bus would stop at Dreketi for five minutes, so I decided to get off the bus to buy a few things from the shop,” he said.

Mr Rakai said before he got off the bus, he informed the driver to stop the bus so he could get off.

“The driver just kept on driving and he did not stop nicely and I staggered in the bus,” he said. “I got really furious and I shouted to the driver, which ended in a heated argument.”

Mr Rakai said the driver left Dreketi without waiting for him to board the bus again.

“He is driving a public transport and he is not supposed to act like that, especially to a senior citizen like me,” he said. “The bus left with my bags still inside and I had to hire a vehicle from Dreketi to Labasa, which cost me $25.”

Mr Rakai was in the bus travelling to Labasa from Lekutu in Bua.

The owner of the bus company and parliamentarian Parmod Chand said he was not aware of the incident until staff members told him about the argument between the driver and the passenger.

“First of all passengers who travel in our bus from Lekutu down to Dreketi or straight to Labasa should know that our passengers are not entitled for that five to ten minutes stop like the Fiji Searoad passengers have,” he said.

“We will only stop if passengers request for us to stop, but other than that we don’t stop and for this situation where the passenger gets left out for only one reason, if he was late for the bus and if he had gone out to the shop for too long.”

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