APTO wants fair play
REELING UNDER SKY-ROCKETING fuel costs and a stagnant income base, the Association of Public Transport Operators (APTO) is calling on Government for fair treatment in the transportation sector.
In a statement on January 2, APTO said the fuel charge had increased operating expenses on an average of $14 000, but as high as $17 000, but bus fare remained at $2 per trip, regardless of distance.
And while the average driver also got an ease on his road tax, public service vehicle (PSV) operators were still required to pay half ($750 or $1 500) while the transfer fees for permits also increased from $1 to $1 000.
The fuel tax, which was levied at a rate of 40 cents per litre, was introduced in last June’s Mini-budget by Prime Minister Mia Mottley to replace road tax.
“The sector is among the heaviest users of diesel fuel on the island and the imposition of the fuel tax has added a considerable cost to its operations. [It] further threatened its continuing viability, given that its income base has remained at $2 per trip, regardless of distance, since 2011, while the costs of inputs have increased steadily over the intervening period,” the statement said. ( PR/SAT)