Bus Fare Increase Allegation

25/10/2007 11:27

The Consumer Council of Fiji in its response to Sefanaia Tuivaga’s letter would like to say that the Council name is erroneously being used. The Council is in receipt of Tuivaga’s letter which alleges the Council has approved a fare increase for bus companies and has allowed Tacirua Bus Company to charge a different and much higher fare.

The Council made an attempt to speak to Ponijese Saukaleka, LTA Project Team Officer this morning and instead spoke to another officer by the name of Ryan who knew something about the matter. According to Ryan, Mr Saukaleka had mistakenly mentioned Consumer Council as the approving organization instead of the Prices and Incomes Board.

It is to be noted that the Consumer Council is not a regulatory authority and therefore possesses no legal powers to approve a fare increase for bus companies or for any other products or services for that matter. Rather, the Prices and Incomes Board is tasked with this responsibility.

Further, the Council is not represented in any of LTA’s meeting regarding bus fare increase. If it was then the LTA minutes of the meeting would have indicated our representation and discussions that may have taken place.

In addition, the Council has a strict policy of forwarding or submitting all its views in writing to avoid such incidences. All submissions made by the Council regarding bus fare are in writing and made a public document.