Urgent need for a bus fare increase: Bus operator

A bus operator that provides service to the interior of Sabeto and surrounding areas in Nadi says there is an urgent need for a bus fare increase if the industry is to remain vibrant and sustainable. Picture: SUPPLIED

A BUS operator that provides service to the interior of Sabeto and surrounding areas in Nadi says there is an urgent need for a bus fare increase if the industry is to remain vibrant and sustainable.

MR Khan Buses director Rizwan Khan said the claims made by bus operators in the Western Division about financial difficulties in the face of a very challenging business environment were “all true”.

“We are at the brink of grinding to a halt, that’s how bad it is,” he said.

“There are a number of factors contributing to the dire situation we are in.

“There has not been a bus fare increase over the past 10 years and costs have all gone up — fuel, spare parts and wages.

“Another big issue is there are about 3000 taxis between Nadi and Lautoka — they have all run out of ideas and are now operating in front of buses just to earn enough to survive.

“More than 1500 of them were given permits with fixed bases, so they are operating wherever they want because there is no enforcement by the LTA.

“There is also a severe lack of enforcement by the LTA on passengers paying bus fares with cash and drivers accepting the cash. “Government imposed e-ticketing on us and it is their job to enforce it.

“There is zero LTA presence at night and because of this anybody who owns a car is able to provide illegal transport services very freely.”

MR Khan Buses operates a fleet of 30 buses and exclusively services Sabeto up to Nadelei Rd and Wailoko Rd

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