The proposed meeting to discuss issues faced by local bus owners in Honiara with the stakeholders failed to eventuate on Tuesday due to lack of attendance by the local bus owners.
After the shocking five hours strike by bus drivers and conductors on Monday, an agreement was reached for a meeting with the stakeholders to address the issues on Tuesday which was then postponed due to lack of attendance.
According to reports from the police, representative from Honiara City Council, Ministry of Infrastructure and Development and Ministry of Commerce all turned up for the meeting to hear the concern of the local bus owners.
Inspector Charles Solomon Habatia who was also present at the proposed venue for the meeting confirmed to this paper that only few local bus owners turned up in the morning for the meeting.
The meeting was rescheduled for afternoon but again very few local owners turned up which resulted in the meeting being called off.
Meanwhile a spokesperson for the local bus owners Timothy Aloga has confirmed to this paper that only five of them went for the meeting in the morning.
He said, most of the local bus owners did not turn up in the morning which forced them to differ the meeting for the afternoon. However, the afternoon meeting fail to eventuate due to lack of cooperation amongst the local bus owners.
Asked about the issue of increasing bus fares from $3 to $5, he said, that is not the issue they want to bring up to the authorities.
The main issues are that the local bus owners want to see Chinese people refrain from operating bus in Honiara City, the increase of the quarterly free by Honiara City Council from $500 to $800 and the welfare of the bus drivers and conductors, he said.
He said at the moment buses should not charge $5 bus fare because it is illegal and it is not in the best interest of the public.
He appealed to buses who charged $5 bus fare to stop doing the illegal act and stick to the normal $3 bus fare.
Meanwhile, the Royal Solomon Islands Police has called on the public to stay calm while responsible authorities deal with the issue.
By Biriau Wilson Saeni