Georgetown, Guyana, September 23, 2015 – Government is looking to extend the River Taxi initiative beyond the planned one-month trial period. This comes in light of the overwhelmingly positive response from citizens.
Speaking at his weekly post-Cabinet press briefing at the Ministry of the Presidency, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon said persons on the East and West Bank of the Berbice River are very pleased with this intervention. The boats are making at least 16 trips per day, from 6:00h to 18:00h.
The initiative kicked off on Monday so that the children and the elderly who were required to cross the Berbice River are not made to bear the brunt of the actions of the Berbice Bridge Company Incorporated (BBCI). The company refused to lower the bridge toll pursuant to the provisions of the 2015 national budget. The lowering of the tolls was one of the promises made by the Coalition in its 100-day promises.
The yet to be implemented fare reduction will see minibus and car owners paying $1,900 instead of $2,200 to cross the bridge; while there will be a 10 percent reduction for all other categories of vehicles.
Government acknowledged that reducing the tolls might require some level of subsidy to the bridge company and as such made available $36M in the 2015 budget to be paid to the company. However, the BBCI has delayed implementation even as Government continues talks with them.