from Fiji radio today:
Repair roads in Labasa
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Road conditions in and around Labasa should be addressed first before more taxi and mini-bus permits are issued. Bus owner Parmod Chand says road users and bus operators in Labasa have to live with bad roads, which is not helping them provide better service. "We as bus operators are expected to run on roads which are no even farm roads, pathetic roads! They’re logging roads! The roads are no good! Hopeless roads! Rubbish roads! And you cannot expect us to run profitable in these kind of roads with so much competition." He says the roads should be repaired for the sake of the traveling public as well as businesses.
Meanwhile, Bus companies in Labasa are protesting about the Land Transport Authority’s proposal to issue more taxi and mini-bus permits.
Chand says Labasa’s economy cannot sustain an increase in the number of taxis and mini-buses.
“We’re simply objecting because of too many taxis. The population of Labasa over the years have gone down. Leases have expired, people have moved out of Vanua Levu and there are excessive taxis, mini-buses and carriers which resort to illegal operation ahead of the buses and when we complain to the LTA, they say they don’t have much manpower and we cannot police all the time and all this.”
The LTA, the bus drivers and all mini-bus and taxi permit applicants will sit next month to discuss the issue.