More than one month after bus fares increased by $20 in 10 different zones across the country, United Minibus Union (UMU) President Eon Andrews is yet to meet with Business Minister Dominic Gaskin to discuss a possible $40 increase for longer minibus routes.UMU President Eon AndrewsAccording to Andrews, during an invited comment on Saturday, he hopes to meet with the Minister during the coming week to discuss the increases for those routes where fares have not been hiked.A few of those routes include 94 (Lethem to Georgetown); 63 (Moleson Creek to Georgetown); 72 (Mahdia) and 73 (Bartica).“Those are long zones – 60, 63, Linden, Mahdia and those things we’re still looking at because remember those are very long routes, so $20 increase may not be appropriate for an increase, so we are looking at that,” he explained.Andrews added, “Initially, I had said in my proposal probably $40 more (for the longer routes), but that was just something I put forward. It doesn’t mean that is what it will be. It could be $60, you know, but I thought that the shorter routes should get $20, because we have to take the commuters into consideration because that is my most important concern although I represent minibuses.”The new fare structure for 10 different minibus zones was announced, following the recent report of a $20 increase across the board that took effect from September 1, 2018.Among the zones with new fare structures were 31 (Georgetown to Patentia); 32 (Georgetown to Parika); 40, 41, 45, 46 (Georgetown to Kitty/Campbellville, South/North Ruimveldt/Guyhoc, Main Street/ Lamaha/Albert and Lodge); 44 (Georgetown to Mahaica); 47, 48 (Georgetown to Back Road, East and West Sophia); and 42 (Georgetown to Timehri).Plans were first announced by the Business Ministry on August 20 for a $20 increase.Andrews, during previous interviews with Guyana Times, had said he was satisfied with the Ministry’s decision to implement a $20 increase.In June, the UMU President submitted a proposal for not only a fare increase, but for several other requests to ease the pressure on minibus drivers.Although the call for a fare increase came at a time when fuel prices were constantly rising, Andrews had noted that the call for the additional money was not only due to the fuel prices but several other issues. Because of this, the Union President said even if the fuel prices were to drop, he would not be willing to reduce the fare.“We are saying that, yes, there are increases in many other things. We are not basing our argument on fuel, because we don’t control that in this country,” he said.Guyana Times understands that the Union had initially requested $20 for short drop bus drivers and $40 for drivers who traverse the longer routes.