Wednesday, 19 December 2007 11:02 AM

Public Transport Businesses Experience 'Dry December'

With Christmas just around the corner, one will expect that it is a period for "business boost".

This however does not seem to be the case for Honiara's public transport businesses.

Taking time out for a cruise, Solomon Times learnt from bus drivers and bus conductors alike of what has been termed as "dry period" for their business.

According to them, despite the packed-than-usual Honiara, their normal daily income has dropped over the December period.

A bus conductor, Ricky, expressed disappointment in the low outcome of passengers in the Christmas period.

"We are usually very busy with 'full house' right through the day, but now we are actually stopping at every bus stop as long as someone is standing there," he told Solomon Times.

He said that providing services as such is very demanding when it comes to transporting people, "but our daily intake this Christmas holiday has taken a dip and it's a negative hit for our business".

Ricky added that with the drop experienced in passengers, "it is just a waste of fuel, which is now expensive with its price recently moved up high".

A bus driver echoed the same disappointment to Solomon Times, saying that lack of passengers and competing against all other buses on the road is frustrating.

Nigel said this 'dry season' for public transport businesses is affecting income to sustain not only the business but also making ends meet for the household.

"We cannot put the blame on the traveling public because it is the holiday season and most prefer to stay around their homes, or travel out of the capital," Nigel said.

Another bus driver, Harry, said that odd as it may seem, while there is obviously a lot of people seen moving around Honiara doing Christmas shopping, the expected boost just does not seem to be the case.

"It is a total disappointment for us, driving around the capital through the day and taking less the amount of the usual income," he added.


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