Santo Domingo.- If the government discontinues the subsidy on diesel used by buses and trucks, they’ll have no choice but to raise fares and freight fees.
The warning Monday was the response expected for the Industry and Commerce Ministry’s announced halt of the government subsidy on 3.0 million gallons of diesel monthly to the transport unions.
"Then what? Are we the chumps? Are we the wretches?," said Antonio Marte, head of the bus owners grouped in Conatra. He said the transport unions always bear the brunt when the government implements policies to improve income levels.
He said the unions would even be willing to transport people for free, but only if the government starts by halting the subsidy for electricity distributors first and the bus and truck drivers can also charge a 30 peso fare per passenger, the same as the State-owned Metropolitan Bus Service.
Marte, whose union gets 980,000 gallons of subsidized diesel monthly, said they consume 3.2 million.
Conatra controls around 80% of the country’s inter-urban and urban routes.