Public outrage on change in fares

A commuter uses the e-transport card. Picture: ATU RASEA/FT FILE

People using bus services expressed concerns yesterday as the new fares announced by the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission kicked in.

Those who spoke to The Fiji Times said they did not realise the level of the hike until they tapped their e-ticketing cards early in the morning.

Timoci Lagilevu who was waiting to board the bus to Lami from the Suva Bus Stand said he was at a loss as to how he would manage because he was the only breadwinner for his family of 16.

“I am a watchman and I come to Suva every day to work, now with this massive increase, I just don’t know what to do,” the 45-year-old said.

“I stay in Vesari, Lami, and the fare has increased from $1.18 to $1.62 — that’s too much.”

He said there were two elderly people in his family and their medical and food needs, combined with the hike in fare, would put a huge dent in his pocket.

“Food prices and everything is going up, all our expenses are increasing but our income remains the same, it’s very sad.

“The increase in bus fare and food will be a big problem for me.”

Sarita Wati of Tamavua shared similar sentiments.

“My husband is a carpenter and his pay is our only source of income so comparing the income with the expenses and now this bus fare increase will be too much for us,” she said.

The FCCC announced bus fare for stage one has increased to $1.02, stage two is $1.61, stage three is $2.21, stage four is $2.60, stage five is $3.27, stage six is $3.86 and stage seven is $4.39.

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