The Land Transport Authority – CEO Samuel Simpson, has refuted claims that they instructed Dominion Transport Limited, to cease operations.
Simpson in a statement says the company has stopped providing services without a proper reason being given, and they have written to and warned the bus company, to operate according to it’s registered particulars.
After 56 years of providing transportation for residents living between Nadi and Sigatoka, the company ended its services last Thursday.
The Company’s Director, Satya Nadan says his company had to stop operation because they ran out of money and could no longer pay the staff wages or afford fuel to run the buses.
He claimed that their problem is affecting every bus operator in the country and unless some urgent action is taken to address these issues than the entire bus industry in Fiji could collapse.
He says he does not agree with the LTA which says that the running and financing of their business is a matter wholly within their direct control.
Nadan says he does not control ‘compliance’ or the decisions the LTA and authorities make that directly impacts their business which reduces their income and affects their ability to operate properly.
He says the last bus fare increase was 11 years ago and two years ago they lodged for a new fare increase and they are yet to get a response from the people in charge.
The Director also says that 80% of their routes are gravel roads, so the maintenance cost is high.
Nadan says he was was encouraged by government to invest in new buses so he bought 10 buses at a cost of $2.5 million which they have to pay for but at a 70% reduced income.
Nadan adds that he has had to borrow from friends and family just to try and pay for fuel and wages and stay in operation, and despite his best effort they finally had to ground to a halt when they ran out of money.