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-taxpayers can no longer foot the billGovernment has defended the raising of tolls on the Demerara Harbour Bridge, yesterday  stressing that it will do away with the need for Government help and make the structure self-reliant.Minister Ferguson and DHBC General Manager,Wholesale China Jerseys, Rawlston Adams, during yesterday’s press briefing.Effective January 1, toll for almost all levels of vehicles will be raised by least $100 except for the tolls of minibuses; these will remain the same.During a press conference at the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Kingston, both Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Annette Ferguson, and the bridges General Manager, Rawlston Adams disclosed expenses continue to outstrip revenues.It was explained that since its construction in the late 70’s, the Demerara Harbour Bridge has served as a crucial link between the eastern and western sections of the country.For thousands of Guyanese, the Harbour Bridge is a daily fixture,Nike NFL Jerseys China, serving as the main access point for work, school, and commercial activity. Over the years, the traffic on the Demerara Harbour Bridge has significantly increased, particularly among certain types of vehicles such as private cars, minibuses, and motor lorries.According to the officials, in January 2009, for example, there were approximately 74,000 trips made by private cars. In January 2010, this number rose to 86,338 and, by August of this year, there were approximately 163,000 trips made by private cars.For minibuses, the figure stood at 39,000 in January 2010. In July 2016, the figure was 44,Wholesale Authentic Jerseys,000 for minibuses.Meanwhile, motor lorries with two axles moved from 10,000 trips in January 2010 to 12,000 trips in August 2016.The officials said that outside of these vehicle types, there has generally been an increase in the bridge traffic.“Increased traffic means increased congestion; increased damage and wear and tear; and, ultimately, increased expenditure to conduct repair works.”It was disclosed that from 2008 through 2016, DHBC made an average income of $489M each year. For the same period, the Demerara Harbour Bridge Corporation expended an average of $910M each year across both its current and capital expenditures.Without these annual subventions, DHBC would be operating at a drastic shortfall and would be unable to sustain its capital projects, Minister Ferguson said.According to the officials, this is where the toll increases come in.“It must be noted that there was no increase in toll for minibuses, since more often than not,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, the pressures are transferred to the members of the public when bus operators experience any increase in expenditure.“Schoolchildren, the elderly, and those in difficult financial situations were considered when the decision was made to not increase the toll for minibuses.”The officials pointed out that in 2008, there would have been toll increases for two classifications- for private cars— the toll rose from $50 to $100 while for private four-wheel drives, the toll moved from $50 to $200. However, the tolls for the other classifications remained unchanged.Meanwhile, based on current traffic trends, it is projected that the DHBC will make $550M at the end of this year with the current toll structure in place. Its expenditure – both current and capital – will stand at a projected $600M.The projected revenue for 2017 – with the new toll structure in place and based on the same amount of traffic – would lead to an income of $861M.“The significant increase in income is important for two reasons: not only would DHBC have more funds to dedicate towards its operations, but the need for Government subvention would be negated. In other words,Cheap NFL Jerseys Stitched, the Corporation would be totally self-reliant,” Minister Ferguson said yesterday.They said that some persons might question why the Corporation should stop receiving Government subvention.“After all, it is the taxpayers’ monies and DHBC provides a service to the taxpayers. However, we must consider that not every taxpayer is a user of the Demerara Harbour Bridge. It is necessary, therefore,Wholesale NFL China Jerseys, to transfer this responsibility from the Government and to allow our taxpayers’ monies to go towards other sectors such as education and health. The toll increases allow for this.”According to Minister Ferguson, things have changed.“More persons are now able to afford vehicles and businesses, now more than ever, are using the Bridge to transport their goods and services. Our world is developing and with development comes increased traffic each year, which makes it even more expensive to maintain the operations of the Harbour Bridge. It is therefore necessary that the toll structure reflects the development we see in our society.”According to Adams, with regard to marine traffic, trawlers are currently charged $15,000 while the larger ocean-going vessels $50,000.Currently, the bridge has in placed a restriction of four vessels per day for the number of marine vessels. This is due to the large amount of vehicular traffic and to need to ease congestion on the bridge.“Over the years, operational costs have significantly increased. Meanwhile, Government subvention covers capital costs. Therefore, operational costs must still be covered by DHBC. The projected increase in income will allow DHBC to better cover these rising costs,” Adams explained.The General Manager admitted that while the increases, when described as percentages,nfl jerseys china, sound high, the actual figures must be taken into account. He indicated that other factors, such as the fact that the tolls have not been increased for many categories for decades and the cost of tolls around the world, must be taken into account.The bridge also faces another major expense in electricity with almost $2.2M being burned on the eastern side with almost $800,000 monthly on the western end.
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