Scores of schoolchildren as they gathered in the bus terminal to catch free rides on the Transport Board buses, a day after a hike in bus fare came into effect and the new school term opened.

STUDENTS ‘BUSSING IT’

Scores of schoolchildren gathered in bus terminals or at bus stops along their school routes to catch free rides on Transport Board buses, rather than opting to pay the hike in bus fare, as the new school term got under way yesterday.

As the hike in bus fare from $2 to $3.50 took effect as of Monday of this week, reports coming from Chairman of the Alliance Owners of Public Transport (AOPT), Roy Raphael, were that schoolchildren would have to pay the full $3.50, once they ride on Public Service Vehicles (PSVs). In spite of calls for a reduced fare for schoolchildren who ride on the PSVs, Raphael remained adamant that to offer students a lower fare would be to actually break the law.

Meanwhile, schoolchildren from the North to the South of the island were reportedly seen lining up to catch the Transport Board buses, which have been offered to them free of cost for school rides from Government, though some students still opted to ride on minibuses and ZRs.

Some adult commuters however were not too pleased that schoolchildren were “riding free”, noting the lack of availability of buses for their own commute and the current state of the transport sector in Barbados, which does not allow them “luxury rides” for their $3.50. Some children however lamented that the lack of bus availability on the Transport Board’s end, at times lends to them catching a PSV to get to and fro, in due time. However, they acknowledged that it will now be more difficult to ride the PSVs on a frequent basis, given the hike in bus fare.

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