Transport Minister Dr. the Hon. Omar Davies on Monday, August 19, announced new fares for the JUTC and other transport operators. The new fares are to take effect on Sunday, August 25, 2013.

Cabinet approved fare increases of 25% for Route Taxi Operators as well as a similar increase for Rural Stage Carriages. In the case of the JUTC, there is an increase of $20.00 moving the fare from $80.00 to $100.00. Concessionary fares (children under 12, students in uniform, disabled persons and pensioners) will continue to be $20.00.

In speaking to the level of increases, Minister Davies says that the Government is acutely aware of the challenges facing fixed and low income households at this time. ‘However’, he said, ‘as regards to JUTC, it is acknowledged by all that the national budget cannot afford any increased cash subsidy to the company.”

Continuing, he said, “…the alternative of closure of the company, or the return to the uncivilized chaos of the pre-JUTC era is not an option which this Administration would consider. The efficient operation of any modern urban centre requires a reliable, structured public transportation system, especially to cater to needs of workers, students, the disabled and the elderly.”

Additionally, the Minister explained that ‘the adult fares on the JUTC as well as for Route Taxi Operators and Rural Stage Carriages, the increase granted of 25% represents the minimum justified, given the significant increases which have taken place in all the inputs required for the provision of transportation services.’

The last increase for the JUTC was granted in April, 2010 when there was a 60% increase in the fare for adult passengers and a 33% increase in concessionary fares. Fare increases for taxi operators last occurred in January, 2010 when a 20% increase was approved.