Commuters would know over the next two weeks whether maxi taxi fares along their respective routes will be increased.
In an interview yesterday, Association of Maxi Taxis of Trinidad and Tobago (AMTTT) president Eon Hewitt said the decision had been arrived following a four-hour long period of “soul searching” on Friday evening at the Port of Spain offices of the Route Two Maxi Taxi Association.
“For about four hours we discussed this thing about fuel and not only about fuel, its operations costs which include everything and after four hours of soul searching, we had no other choice but to look at a fare increase,” Hewitt said.
“There is nothing more we can do, it’s going to be route by route, everybody will look at their situation, we should start to see an increase in about a week or two from different routes,” he said, adding that some associations had requested a two- week wait period while others had asked for a three week period before the new fare could be agreed to and implemented.
He said the Association would also “push back hard” against Finance Minister Colm Imbert’s decision to remove restrictions on the ownership of banded maxi taxis.
“We are not sure what the Minister meant when he said that, I don’t know if he knows there was a court judgement against basically what we think that he is hoping to do, if he does go through with it, what we think he is doing, we are going to push back hard,” Hewitt said.
He said this move would be “destabilising and destructive” to the future of the public transport industry. During the 2018 budget presentation, Imbert said there would be a removal of the “current restrictions on the allocation of maxi taxi licenses” and that there would no longer be “restrictions on the ownership of banded maxi taxis and where they operate.”
“This will open up the public transportation system,” Imbert had stated.