Monday 23 September, 2019

Sinckler’s silence pushes PSV members to make a move

FILE - The River van stand

FILE - The River van stand

The majority of Barbados' commuters on public transportation use Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) and if the PSV members don't get their meeting with the Minister of Finance soon, there is no telling what will happen next.

The Joint Committee for the Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) Association has passed the decision on the next move by the PSVs, taxis and ZRs to their membership since the Minister Christopher Sinckler is refusing to meet with the PSV Heads.

The Joint Committee is made up of the Alliance Owners of Public Transport (AOPT) and the Association of Public Transport Operators (APTO)  and the Alliance represents taxis, ZMs, ZRs, minibuses, while APTO represents minibuses and ZRs.

Yesterday the group met at the NUPW headquarters in Dalkeith, St. Michael and one of the topics that came up was that they are still trying to secure a meeting with the Minister of Finance.

President of AOPT, Roy Raphael said that at the meeting, “we would have met as a joint committee to discuss the fact that we would have written a number of letters to the Minister of Finance. We want to have a discussion with him, but since we have not yet been able to secure a meeting with him, that the body would have authorized us or given us permission to go ahead and meet with our general membership.”

The AOPT President said that the sit-down with the Minister is essential to discuss the newly hiked National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL) and more.

Raphael told Loop News:

“That Levy has an impact on us. We want to discuss the increase in gas prices, plus the duty-free concessions and an increase in bus fare. Those are the issues that were raised before and we would have sent a letter to him and we got no response. We have called, got no response. We again will be delivering another letter to him sometime during the course of next week.

“But in the meantime, what we are saying is that at the meeting yesterday, it has now been decided by the Joint Committee membership that we are now going to be handing it over to our general membership which will make a decision on the next course of action.”

Raphael said that the Minister could stop the members’ actions by meeting with them.

He stressed, “It is in the hands now of the general membership of the PSV Associations, and knowing that we run the majority of the routes in Barbados; we move 80 percent, so this is an opportunity again for the Minister to meet with us.”

Furthermore, he added, “We find it to be disrespectful of the Minister not to contact us, not to get back to us with any information. We would be quite happy if he could do so, so that we can have some direction.”

Raphael said that they reached out the Minister from even before Budget Day, May 30, 2017. They made clear the challenges they were experiencing,” but have heard nothing.” He said the Transport Ministry was to be seeing after the organization of the meeting as well.

President of APTO, Morris Lee told Loop that he will not comment until after he has met with his membership.

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