OTTT director retracts himself and removes fare reductions
SANTO DOMINGO. After the rejection expressed by drivers’ unions regarding a reduction of fare prices and without hope of achieving a consensus through dialogue, the Ground Transportation Technical Office (OTTT) retracted yesterday its announcement of a fare reduction and announced that for the moment the new fares on the city and intercity routes would not go into effect.
Although at first they had announced that by means of a resolution they would order, starting today, a reduction of RD$5 on the fares of the urban routes, and between RD$10 and RD$40 on the intercity routes, the director of the OTT T, Hector Mojica, convened for next Friday a meeting with the passenger carriers.
During the meeting which will be held starting at 10:00 a.m. at the headquarters of the OTTT, they will discuss the proposal for a fare reduction.
“The OTTT maintains the position that the price should be reduced, but our style is to respect the opinion of the carriers as an interested party. The price will continue to be the same until the technical commission of the unions present their analysis of the issue,” said Mojica.
Nonetheless, he said that the OTTT by virtue of decrees 489 – 87 at 349 – 11, is authorized to make readjustments in the transportation fares.
Mojica made it clear that “we issued a public call through a press release to all the transportation businesses, so that they establish their position regarding the fare reductions, due to the fact that the fuels have been experiencing a considerable reduction in price.”
With respect to this issue, Ramon Perez Figuereo, the president of the Unified National Transportation Central (C NTU), exhibited his willingness to dialogue, but not before stating his opposition to any type of decrease in the passenger fares.
He indicated that the ideal thing would be to discuss operational costs, since both the liquid petroleum gas (LPG) as well as diesel fuel, the fuels of greatest use among the carriers, have gone down in price only minimally.
He said that he felt that they should seek a consensus with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce; the entity authorized to set the prices of the fuels, and starting from that point either review or set the fares.
In the same context Antonio Marte expressed his agreement as the president of the National Transportation Confederation (CONATRA). He said he is willing to enter into talks as long as they put any sort of conditions to one side.
“If they call us we will go, and we will talk about the fares,” he noted.
Two of the principle drivers’ organizations of the city of Santiago rejected the decrease of the passenger fares, alleging that the prices of fuels are still very expensive.
Gervasio de la Rosa and Juan Marte, the presidents of the Federation of Transportation Workers of the North Region (FETTRANRENO) and the National Central of Transportation Workers (CNTT), respectively, indicated that the efforts of the OTTT have neither rhyme nor reason, and much less do they make sense.
“This is a show by the government, through the OTTT, whereby they intend for the Dominican people to forget some of the principal problems, such as the attack on the Santo Domingo Metro, the attempted escape from the jail at Najayo or the scandal of Senator Felix Bautista,” said de la Rosa.
For his part, Marte, made it clear that neither students, the elderly, persons with disabilities or Police should have to pay fares.
“All this would be possible when the OTTT carries out a study on the real costs of the passengers, and if it is determined that they should be increased RD $10 or RD $15, then charge that amount,” stressed Marte.
He said that regretfully, neither the OTTT nor the government have in their hands a real and sustainable study of the cost per passenger in the Dominican Republic.
Drivers opposed to fair reduction
Drivers of bus routes in the municipalities of Boca Chica, San Cristobal and Bani, agreed yesterday that the reduction which fuel prices have undergone is not a reason to reduce the cost of the fares. In this sense, they said that only if the price of tires and motor oil goes down might they consider the decision to lower fares. “The fare cannot go down, because the tires and the oil are at the same price,” declared one driver from San Cristobal. The cost of a trip from these towns to Santo Domingo and back varies between 55 and 120 pesos.
Category: DR News |