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Bus fare increase supports sustainability of bus industry: FCCC

January 24, 2020 6:50 am
The Fijian Competition and the Consumer Commission says the seven cents maximum bus fare per stage increase supports the overall sustainability of the industry.[Source: Shutterstock]

The Fijian Competition and the Consumer Commission says the seven cents maximum bus fare per stage increase supports the overall sustainability of the industry.

Chief Executive Joel Abraham says the last maximum fare review was carried out ten years ago.

Abraham says the Fiji Bus Operators Association was required to provide the FCCC with up-to-date financials which was diligently reviewed by their teams.

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“The FCCC, as an independent commission, properly scrutinized all relevant financial records and undertook its due diligence on a prudent and responsible timeline, despite significant pressure to rush the review process.” 

He adds FCCC relied heavily on a widespread consultation process undertaken by an Independent Bus Fare Review Committee that attracted over 13,000 submissions.

The review considered submissions of 37 different operators of all scales, urban, peri-urban and rural operators.

Meanwhile in a statement overnight, the Fiji Bus Operators Association says they are disillusioned by the seven cent increase in fares and has called on the FCCC to openly state how they arrived at that determination.

FBOA President Nisar Ali Shah says while they are relieved to have finally got some movement after a decade of stagnant fares, operators are struggling to understand the justification of an increase of seven cents for all stages.

Shah says from 2010 to 2019, the Reserve Bank’s cumulative inflation exceeded 28 percent.

The bus fare structure he says comes nowhere near adequately or reasonably to address the issue of increased costs for bus operators over the past 10 years.

The FBOA President further adding that with the FCCC’s seven cent increase, on average across all 46 stages, the fare increase would amount to 1.34 percent which he says is unfair.

Shah is calling on the FCCC as an institution mandated to review and set prices that is it the right of the Fijian people to know how they arrived at the new fare and what factors were considered in the process.

The new fares are effective from 10th February for adult fares and 4th May for school fares.

 

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