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Minister Fonseca Meets with Bus Operators to Tackle Transport Issues

Education Minister, Francis Fonseca, says GOB is also working on making transportation more accessible to commuters. Fonseca says that they have touched base with bus operators to devise a plan to establish more bus routes, especially in rural areas

Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education: “As a country I think we are investing now close to $10 million a year on school bus transportation for our teachers and students so it’s never enough, it’s an ongoing challenge. You know everybody would want school transportation in their community so we try to do it in as equitable a manner as fair manner as possible. In terms of other bus transportation routes you know when those arise we need to assess it if it makes sense and then we try to determine whether or not it’s something we can support. The issue we addressed already the issue of diesel that was a big issue for the bus contractors, the cost of diesel which was making their contracts almost a waste of time because of the cost of fuel, so we tried to address that. We got support from the Ministry of Finance, we’ve revised this contract so that we’ve been able to give those contractors an additional sum of money which makes it much easier for them to carry out their bus runs.”

Minister Fonseca also touched on the issue of bus operators in the south who are alleging that they haven’t been paid for almost a week. According to Minister Fonseca, the issues with payments are due to a procedural error with one particular bus operator. 

Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education: “We have one single bus contractor in Toledo that’s not operating right now, one out of all I think we have in Toledo the most contracts in Toledo I think we have nearly 100 bus contractors in Toledo and there is one bus contractor that is not operating right now and as you said they’re claiming that they didn’t get payment our records show that they didn’t properly submit their papers so that’s being addressed and we’re if that bus contractor has I think up until Friday if they do not show up for work before Friday then we will get a new bus contractor to do that work because we can’t allow that to continue. We have tried to substitute some bus services to make sure the kids can go to school I think it’s a teachers run in that case not students so the students are getting to school but a number of teachers have not been able to get to school because of that bus contractor’s refusal to perform this service.”