On Monday 17th August, students plying the Dominica State College (DSC) route in Stockfarm will have to dig a little deeper into their pockets since a bus fare hike will come into effect.
Vice President of the Stockfarm Bus drivers Association (SBA) Phillip Dover, told Dominica News Online (DNO) that the price increase will be instituted because of what he called an abuse by the working students.
Normally students are required pay $1.25, following a 25 cents increase last year, and adults (non students) who ply the route pay $1.75.
But Dover said the system is being abused by many students who are also working adults and who continue to pay the regular $1.25 fare.
“We watch that as an abuse of the bus drivers,” he noted. “So what we decide as an organization to do; we still wouldn’t charge them the $1.75 but we will charge them at least a $1.50 across the board. So we still have a break down for them, we leave at least a $0.25 for them, because they are college students.”
He said there were mixed feelings among members of the association with at least 50 percent “feeling different about the additional $0.25” and the other half felt “that we should just go for the $1.75.”
However, “we still decide that we are having a little pity and as the executive we are leaving it at $1.50,” Dover noted.
He said the new price will become effective before the start of the new academic school year so that students can become familiar with the change and members have been advised to place posters in their buses to inform the public.
Meantime, Dover noted that a new Road Maintenance Levy approved recently by Cabinet is not going down well with the association.
According to him things are “tight” and “rough” for bus drivers in the Stockfarm area especially during the summer months and now they have to dig up an additional $150.00 to pay the new levy by September 2015.
“I’m on the bus stop whole day and I can tell you that there are buses who are not making $50 a day,” he stated. “For the summer it tight, it rough, and I hear some fellas saying by September they going to pay their license and they have to find a $150 to put in it. So I can tell you it tight for the Stockfarm bus drivers.”
Presently there are about 37 buses plying the Stockfarm route.