Whilst $5 may not be devastating for the tourists it could cripple the islanders, many of whom rely on the buses for work. When I started coming to BIM the bus fare was no more than $1 and then $2. I can’t recall when it changed but that represents a 100% increase. Obviously the govt need to improve their finances but targeting bus routes is placing a bigger burden on a populace with not a lot to start with.
Like Gregory the fare when we first starting coming to Barbados was $1, then $2. But to increase it to $5 would not be do-able for most Bajan residents who are already on a low income. Please IMF reconsider this increase.
@PMP - apparently the increase is to repair the buses - and it also suggests that the "most vulnerable" should be protected....(quote below from article )
“A recent cost of service study by the EU [European Union] calculated that $5 would be more adequate for cost recovery purposes. This restriction on revenue collection has adversely affected investment in the fleet, which has not been updated since 2011,” the document entitled Promoting Fiscal Sustainability and Transparency of State-Owned Enterprises (SOE), specifically states.
However, the IMF acknowledged the need for a differential bus fare to protect vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, but suggested that the $5 charge should apply to all other users with a view to ensuring partial cost recovery by the Board."
I wonder if the school kids will have to pay. I was told some travel quite a distance to a school of their choice. If they are asked to pay maybe more will go to the closest school rather than travel on the buses. Since all the schools are under the same ministry with the same curriculum the only reason to choose a school that is not close by would be if it offered specialized subjects.
This fare increase will be a boon for the yellow buses if they keep their fares down.
This is a recommendation not a fact, and from what I understood it was made a while ago (December 2017) but has only just been made public. I believe a mini budget is coming out on Monday - that will be a better guide to what's going to happen.
I heard it was going to $3 ages ago ( Bajan rumour ? ) but $5 is an impossible rise for many Bajans, especially if they have to change bus on their journey to work ( thereby making it $10 each way ) .I shall believe it when it happens .Edited: 2:16 pm, June 08, 2018
While the schools are all government by the same ministry.. it's not that simple to go to your neighborhood school and that is mainly after primary school (11yrs and older). and some children don't go to the primary school closest to their house, well.. because they may feel another one is better (educationally) than the one next door.
All students sit a common entrance exam at the end of primary school to move into one of the secondary schools on the island. . The secondary schoo(ls are ranked by the ministry (and zoned). 4 top level schools, 3 bottom schools and the rest in the middle. (22 government secondary schools in total) . it's complicated and not for this discussion.
I would say, the school children will likely continue not having to pay to ride as long as they are in uniform..
and re an increase. it will hurt the less fortunate in our society more than anyone else.