Transportation czar Antonio Marte threatens fare hikes

One of the nation’s powerful transportation czars, Antonio Marte, the president of CONATRA, told reporters at a press conference on 6 July 2016 that if the government takes away the fuel subsidy as part of the new fiscal pact, his organization would be forced to increase fares or go on strike.

This threat by the president of the National Confederation of Transportation Organizations (CONATRA) came as he called upon the authorities to create a team of technicians in order to analyze the operational costs of public transportation at the national level.

Marte told the reporters: “The fuel subsidy has been a gift to those who sell it, but not for those who use it in benefit of the passengers.”

Marte said that a 2014 study presented to the government revealed that the real cost of urban transportation is RD$48.17 at a time when the price of diesel was RD$102.00 per gallon. He said at the present time at current prices the fair price of gasoline should be RD$60 the gallon.

Marte said around 1.4 million commuters use public transportation.

In the press conference, Marte urged the government convene to technical talks with transportation players to analyze the operational cost of transporting passengers nationwide.