Friday morning, small bus drivers came together and gathered in the parking lot of the Linear Park to march together, guided by the police, to the Bestuurskantoor – the government seat – to deliver a letter. The ‘Autobus United Group’ handed a petition to the government to increase the bus fare with 1 florin, because their expenses are becoming too high to manage.
The drivers in their letter brought a proposal to increase the fare in accordance with the increase in the price of gasoline and diesel.
In their letter, they express that they are aware of a study conducted by the University of Aruba, under direction of the government, regarding the relation between the increase in the price of fuel and an adjustment to the bus fare. This study will be completed in September 2022, but the drivers cannot wait that long. “We will be dead by then”, one of the drivers expressed to the minister of Transportation, Integrity, Nature, and Elderly Affairs, Ursell Arends, who together with minister of Economic Affairs, Geoffrey Wever, met the drivers at the Bestuurskantoor on Friday morning.
The bus fare of 3 florin is no longer sustainable for the bus drivers, seeing the increase in the price of fuel as well as other factors, with prices constantly going up, for example, bus insurance.
Minister Arends says that he is in favor of a fare increase, but must be aware that this will trigger other groups to come after and increase their prices also, like taxi drivers. “I hope that this proposal that you are bringing is also something structural for us to consider and analyse. I have understanding for this because your cost of doing business is also drastically higher. We will analyze this and you can be sure we will give an answer in a definitive time”, the minister declared.