Fiji Bus Review Study
Narrative: OCA provided the consulting team (Team Leader and Specialist) to undertake a review of the Fiji bus services. The team worked closely with both governmental and non governmental stakeholders. Bus transport is very important in Fiji. The issues of bus fares and subsidies are controversial, with some people thinking the bus companies are charging too much. There are also major competition issues. An increasing number of minibuses compete with buses on the main roads, while passenger-carrying trucks compete on rural roads. The bus operators claim some of this competition is unfair, with very different regulatory practices for the different forms of transport. It is feared that bus services that are regulated for timetables and fares cannot survive if there is unregulated free-market competition. Many of these issues were discussed in workshops facilitated by the OCA team.
OCA provided advice relating to bus travel safety, routes, ticketing systems, operating costs, concessionary fares, fleet renewal, subsidies and regulation. They also noted the importance of road condition and maintenance and integrated transport planning. The Consultants stressed the need to achieve an appropriate balance of competing and complementary public transport services that are safe and affordable.