Rising fuel prices will have an impact on the sector


Commuters board a PTSC bus at the Kings Wharf terminal in San Fernando. – File Photo/Lincoln Holder

Although it is still too early to tell how, transportation stakeholders have said that an increase in gasoline prices will have various impacts on the sector.

On Friday, Finance Minister Colm Imbert announced in parliament a petrol price hike that will take effect on April 19.

Kerosene, he said, will rise $2 from $1.50 to $3.50; super and premium will increase by $1, with premium increasing to $6.75 and super to $4.97; diesel will increase by $0.50, from $3.41 to $3.91.

Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC) chairman Edwin Gooding, in a brief telephone interview with Newsday on Friday, said that while he did not believe the government would raise the cost of bus fares, which did not known increase since 1996, PTSC will bear the additional cost.

“The decision to increase (bus) fares is made by the government,” said Gooding, adding that the increase will still have a significant impact on public transport. “(PTSC) will have to pay more (and) I don’t know if we will get more money for fuel.

“It will be a challenge, but we will have to persevere.”

Petroleum Dealers Association President Robin Narayansingh also told Newsday on Friday that the gas subsidy has only ever benefited those who don’t deserve it. He said only those who could afford luxury and electric vehicles benefited from the gasoline subsidy incurred by the government.

“The gas subsidy also deprives the country of basic amenities. It really is something that only benefits the wealthy.

He said the increase will also affect sectors other than energy and will mostly affect middle to low income people. “These are the people the government will have to pay attention to.”

TT Automotive Dealers Association (TTADA) President Visham Babwah said the increase will have dire effects on people’s lives. He also said he was disappointed that the government had not provided any updates regarding exemptions on hybrid vehicles.

“The government very quickly recovers its money on petrol prices but nothing on exemptions. When prices fell, the government made a profit on premium fuel. I understand what is happening with international awards, but they have to give citizens something to improve their lives and not spend every dollar they have now.

In 2021, after operating at 50-75% capacity for more than a year during the pandemic, several maxi and taxi associations increased its fares.

Since November 2021, East-West Corridor commuters have had to pay higher fares after the Route Two Maxi Taxi Association raised the fare by $2 from $8 to $10.

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