Highlands PMV operators charging illegal higher fares

National, Normal

The National, Friday, April 29, 2011

HIGHLANDS Highway travellers are being forced to pay 50% more by public motor vehicle owners.
The public transport owners are blaming the rising cost of fuel and parts for raising their fares without approval of the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission.
The PMV fare between Chimbu and Mt Hagen city used to be K10 but is now K15.
Mt Hagen to Mingende was K8 and is now K13, while K5 has been added to the K5 fare between Kundiawa and Kudjip.
The Mt Hagen to Wabag fare has jumped from to K15 from K10.
The PMV fare from Goroka to Mt Hagen was increased by K10 to K30 as was the fare between Goroka and Lae.
The same applied on other routes in the region.
Rita Desmond, a mother of one from Yagle village, said PMV operators were charging excessive fares.
She said police, the land transport board and the ICCC did nothing to stop PMV operators from charging extra fees.
She said the travelling public often argued with PMV crews over the extra fees but they were forced to pay if they wanted to travel.
Rita said, sometimes, crews threatened to drop passengers short of their destination if they paid the normal fare.
Another concerned villager from Kamas village in Enga’s Wabag district, who regularly travels  between Mt Hagen and Wabag to buy goods for his informal business expressed the same sentiments.
John Yalipa said because of the extra fees charged, he had to raise the prices of goods that he sold.
He said if he sold his goods at normal prices, he would not make any profit.
ICCC Commissioner Dr Billy Manoka said recently the extra fees charged by the PMV owners were illegal.
Manoka said the fares set by ICCC in 2008 still stood.