Government acknowledges bus operators’ positive response to the call for a conducive environment so that the suspension to dialogue can be removed. As such, government intends to resume its engagement with bus operators under a structured approach.
Further, government has given consideration to the following areas of operational changes and support to bus operators.
From Tuesday, 16 June 2020 the following operational changes will take effect:
- Increased maximum carrying capacity from 12 to 14 occupants at any one time on mini buses. Coasters are allowed 3 persons per row and 1 person in line with the driver.
- The retention of a conductor will not be mandatory on certain conditions being satisfied. Bus operators may use a conductor or an alternative method which is to be approved by a joint team of the RGPF and the Ministry of Health. The RGPF will provide further information on this process.
- To protect the health and safety of everyone bus operators are required to ensure hand sanitisation of every passenger entering their buses. While the government recognises that sanitisation is the responsibility of the bus operators, the Division of Transport will continue bearing the cost which could reach $50,000 per month for a 4-month period, June to September 2020.
Additionally, consideration is being given to some form of relief on bus terminal fees for the period July to September. Already bus operators have had fees waived for the month of June. Government will review all measures of support in August.
Government reminds that there is no change to the bus fare. Further, bus operators engaging in ‘price gouging’ should refrain from doing so as this is against the law.
There will be enhanced monitoring of buses within bus terminals and en route, to ensure compliance with all requirements of operations.
Non-compliance with established regulations and/ or protocols will result in fines in cases of ticketed offences and/or ineligibility to operate unless violation is remedied.
Additional details on the above operational requirements will be communicated to the bus operators and general public.