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BUS FARE HIKE STILL EXCEEDS INFLATION RATE DESPITE TALKS

29 Dec Transport

Transport authorities can not come to the rescue of thou. sands of commuters using Golden Arrow buses who will pay an average 9 percent more In fares starting next Monday

Transport MEC Robin Carlisle said he had been under the impression he could prevent any increase contemplated by Golden Arrow

“I thought I could veto any increase at this stage, but there is nothing T can do,” Carlisle said yesterday.

He said earlier this month that the company would not be allowed to apply the above- inflation increase. Golden Arrow had initially issued a press statement that bus fares would increase by 10.4 percent on average. It claimed Carlisle’s department had given the increase the green light, a claim Carlisle dismissed.

Golden Arrow and the department held talks last week and the department rejected the 10.4 percent increase. The Cape Times has reliably learnt that the department was unhappy with the reduced 9 percent rise.

Vbrhile refusing to answer further questions yesterday. Carlisle said he would release a statement early next year.

Golden Arrow spokesman Vuyisile Mdoda said the company had reached agreement on the 9 percent rise with the department after negotiations. Mdoda said he was happy the confusion had been resolved.

He said in a statement: “Following consultations with the transport department, in which their view of the projected performance of certain input cost trends over the next 12 months was taken into account, Golden Arrow has agreed to reduce the planned fares increase on January 4. 2010. to an average 9 percent.”

Rising fuel costs had been the main reason for the increases, Mdoda said.

Source: Cape Times – Luvuyo Mjekula