Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 23rd 2016 Contents Outgoing Guardian Sport Editor, Valentino Singh gets a farewell hug from business editor Suzanne
Sheppard on his final working day at the newspaper, yesterday. Singh retires after two decades as sport
editor of the newspaper. PHOTO: MICHEAL BRUCE
Wednesday, November 23, 2016 guardian.co.tt
PTSC wants fare hike
The Public Transport Service
Corporation (PTSC) is currently
preparing a draft note to take be-
fore Cabinet for an increase in the
current bus fares, which have not
been increased since 1990.
The move is part of the PTSC's stra-
tegic plan to make itself less dependent
on the Treasury, general manager Ron-
ald Forde told a Joint Select Committee
He said while maxi-taxis and private
taxis have increased their fares numer-
ous times over the past 26 years, the
PTSC has not. He stressed the measure
was not intended to place a financial
burden on the public accessing the bus
service, but was rather "to make the
ticket more reasonable to realise some
sort of revenue to offset the subsidies
coming to the PTSC."
He admitted they had not conduct-
ed any consultation to measure public
reaction. But in giving a comparison,
he said the taxi fare from San Fernando
was now $19 while the bus fare for the
same route was $6 and the deluxe coach
service was $10.
Compared to other Caricom ter-
ritories, Forde said, while the senior
citizens fare was recently increased
in Jamaica, in T&T it was accessed
free once a citizen crossed 65. Adding
that students in uniform also got free
transport, Forde said this measure led
to a shortfall in PTSC revenue of $14
Listing the challenges the PTSC had
encountered during the last couple of
years, Forde said the current bus fleet
was old, there was a lack of available
parts and inventory and an inadequate
number of buses.
Asked to rate the PTSC service at this
time, Forde described it as "fair."
Aware it was not living up to the ex-
pectations of the commuting public,
he said the average age of a bus fleet
globally was eight years while in T&T,
the current fleet was now double this
at 16 years.
"For us to get it right, we need the
injection of resources into PTSC and
the bus service," Forde said.
He said they had been unsuccessful
in securing funding through the PSIP
since 2011 in order to expand the GPS
On another note, Forde said technol-
ogy had played a part in helping officials
to immediately determine certain facts
in Monday's fatality in St. Augustine
when a teacher was knocked down by
a bus driver.
Saddened at the tragic accident,
Forde said technology allowed them
to ascertain the driver "was way below
the speed he was supposed to drive at."
Rat attack in the city
The Port-of-Spain City Cor-
poration is about to embark on a
major eradication of the city's rat
Outgoing Mayor Keron Valentine
made the pledge yesterday, saying
he was well aware of the thriving rat
population in the capital. He said the
corporation would be using two com-
bat strategies --- source reduction us-
ing bait and temporarily closing down
establishments which violate proper
waste disposal methods.
"We are embarking on a major source
(rat) reduction drive using bait. Key to
solving the problem is keeping them
from multiplying," Valentine told the
In addition to that strategy, the cor-
poration's chief public health inspec-
tor, who has taken up the problem in
a very serious way and is stepping up
his tactics, will be doing site visits to
food establishments in the city, Val-
"There are supposed to be grease
traps in these establishments which
are supposed to be cleaned regularly.
If they are not, the grease builds up
and forms into balls which get into the
underground drains and the rats feed
on them and multiply."
Valentine said owners who do not
clean their grease traps are in violation
of sanitation laws and the health in-
spector has the authority to close then
down until they comply.
"We don't want an outbreak in the
city that would cause more trouble
than we are already experiencing,"
Valentine made the disclosures in
response to questions on the city's rat
problem, in light of the virtual shut-
down of the Board of Inland Revenue's
(BIR) Trinidad House office on St Vin-
cent Street for two days this week by
workers because of an alleged rat in-
Mayor moves on rodents
DOMA wary of issue
President of the Downtown Owners & Merchants Association, Gregory Aboud,
said members were "keenly aware" of a problem with rodents on the eastern
side of Port-of-Spain, particularly in the area of Charlotte Street and certain
sections of the Queen's Park Savannah, where the indiscriminate disposal of
food and food waste was providing a substantial food source for rats.
He said most of Charlotte Street, breaching original prohibitions, was now
occupied by vendors selling fish, chicken, meats and produce.
Aboud said it was possible given the robust feeding environment the rat
population there may have expanded and migrated to other points west of
Charlotte Street, but added, "We are not aware of a similar situation on the
western side of Port-of-Spain in the area of St Vincent Street since there is not
the same abundance of food source there for these types of pests."
festation in the building.
Workers have been claiming
there was a rat infestation in the
building, and a foul stench, and
have refused to enter the office.
"They are just coming to work,
signing in and staying in the lob-
by. After about three, four hours,
the bosses tell them to go home,"
a source said.
Citizens who have been go-
ing there to pay taxes are being
Sources said BIR authorities
called in pest control company,
Rentokil, which after checks said
it saw no rats in the building.
A worker said they were sup-
posed to move out of the old
Trinidad House office into a new
office in the Government Campus
Plaza next door since July.
"From July, they said we will
be moving in September and now
they are saying December. I don't
think we will be moving anytime
FOND FAREWELL MY OLD FRIEND
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