Boat operators can be suspended for overcharging passengers – MARAD

first_imgOne week after commuters had complained about extortion being practised by boat operators traversing the Georgetown and Vreed-en-Hoop stellings on Sundays and holidays, Harbour Master Michael Tennant has announced that those operators can be suspended for their actions if the matter is reported.Guyana Times reported that boat operators were charging double fares on Sundays and holidays, much to the discomfiture of the travelling public.Tennant, in an interview with this publication, said passengers need to report the incidents for MARAD to act. He noted that complainants would be required to file an official report, which would require the name of the boat along with the time of the incident, since it would make the investigation easier.This newspaper was informed that boat operators usually demand a fare increase of an additional $100 when they transport half the number of passengers on this route.Passengers have also detailed cases when they were forced to pay the extra $100, some without even knowing that the additional fee is unlawful.When Guyana Times visited the Georgetown Stelling to investigate the complaint one recent Friday, some disgruntled passengers opined that the fare increase was quite burdensome and “unfair” to them. An angry passenger had said, “I ain’t get raise on my salary, so I ain’t concern with no raise of fare! I won’t go for no raise of fare!”Another frequent boat user had told Guyana Times, “I think that the fee increase on weekends and holidays is unnecessary and unacceptable. The boat captains and bowmen would have the maximum number of persons on board and still charge the $200 fee. It is a matter that should be looked into by the relevant authorities, because it’s an act of exploiting customers.”Another passenger of the water taxis had said, “We have no other choice. Sometimes — especially when they (boat operators) know that the bridge is closed — they try to exploit us, and I think that is unfair.”Still another passenger had noted being subjected to the increase predominantly on Sundays and holidays. “The double-fare being charged by boat operators on Sundays and holidays is definitely ridiculous! It’s unethical! This was never approved! I believe only persons who aren’t aware of this are the ones that are being targeted. I pay $100 on those days, especially when the boats travel with a full load,” this passenger had said.Agreeing with the statements expressed by most passengers, Trisha Patterson had said she had seen cases in which the boat operators had come over with full loads and were still demanding $200 from each passenger. She opined that the situation needed to be investigated.A bowman who spoke to this newspaper had said the fares are increased on Sundays and holidays because those are not full working days.“Sundays and holidays is $200 (charged) because we ain’t supposed to be working. So them man does come out because them ain’t got nothing fuh do (and them want) fuh try and help de passengers to get across more fast. $200 a head. Me ain’t know why them (passengers) does row, because this is de cheapest boat fare around here,” he had declared.last_img read more