Budget snippet: Inter-island fares increase, seniors to pay for ferry

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

The inter-island ferry APT James arrives at the Scarborough Port, Tobago. File photo/Jeff K Mayers

CONSISTENT with the government’s policy of sharing the burden of hard financial times, Finance Minister Colm Imbert has announced that senior citizens will now have to pay to travel on the seabridge between Trinidad and Tobago.

Those over 60 will be charged a $25 fee to use the fast ferry.

Additionally, other travellers will now pay more to move between the islands.

Imbert said there would be a $25 increase in Tobago on the existing ferry fare. The cost of premium cabins on the ferries will increase by $50.

A ticket to Tobago on Caribbean Airlines will also see a $50 increase.

This means airbridge tickets will move from $150 to $200 and tickets on the fast ferry from $50 to $75. Premium cabins will increase from $100 to $150.

Imbert said the estimated increase in annual revenue from the seabridge will be $30 million, but the authority will still operate at a loss and will be supported by a $170 million subsidy.

The airbridge will also still require a $50 million subsidy, even with a $50 million annual revenue increase with the new fares.

These measures will take effect from January 1, 2023.