Agency to monitor fares

National, Normal

The National, Friday 14th of February, 2014

THE Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) will start monitoring the fares on routes in Port Moresby to ensure bus owners and drivers are not charging passengers above the approved amounts.
It will be paying particular attention to recent instances of overcharging by PMVs, which operators said was because of congestions and delays caused by road upgrading work.
The commission is asking people to help by reporting charges.
“PMV owners and drivers who persist in overcharging  risk prosecution,” the commission said.
“Those found guilty may be subject to very significant penalties.”
The commission said it had received reports passengers on the Gor­don’s route to places beyond Erima were being charged as much as K4 per person instead of the approved fare of 80 toea.
“PMV operators have often given bad roads and road construction as excuses for charging high fares. Commissioner Dr Billy Manoka said. “However, PMVs must not decide on their own to charge higher.
“They must approach the ICCC in advance for clearance and they will need to be able to substantiate claims for higher fares.
“Any decision made by a particular PMV owner or driver or a group of owners or drivers to increase the fares without the ICCC’s approval may result in prosecution of offenders.
“We urge passengers to report instances of overcharging to the ICCC.
“Please contact us and let us know the plate number of the offending PMV, the route the PMV runs on, the time of the day and the date the offence occurred as well as your name and contact details.
“We will not make your personal details known to the PMV owner or driver.”
The commission is taking the action to put PMV owners and drivers on notice that they must not charge higher than the fares approved by it and to inform passengers what they should do.