Local February 26, 2013 | 11:19 am

Bus companies eye higher fares, consumer rights group warns

Santo Domingo.- The grass roots neighborhood consumer front FREBACON on Tuesday warned the government against letting passenger bus companies raise fares, noting that they use propane gas as fuel, not gasoline, whose prices soared last weekend.

"We want to raise our strongest protest to threats being made by drivers to increase commuter fares including on routes which provide service using propane as fuel when its price has been frozen," said FREBACON coordinator Cabral Mario Zamora.

"We want to make clear that it’s high time that the authorities that regulate the sector discontinue work in such an irresponsible manner, allowing operators’ continued abuse of commuters, despite being subsidized by the government precisely with the money passengers pay in taxes," he said.

Zamora said gasoline or diesel are no longer being used as fuel by both passenger and freight, for which in his view they shouldn’t be allowed to raise fares.

The consumer rights advocate advised community groups to remain alert to avert fare hikes, "to demonstrate and protest publicly to force the government to assume their legal and moral obligation to defend the people’s interests, mainly the neediest sectors."

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