The monthly subsidy that the government will give to omnibus operators will be increased from EC$250 to between EC$450 and EC$550.
The government has issued some guidelines that police are enforcing, which see an 18-seater minibus being now made to carry nine passengers.
A 26-seater omnibuses should now carrying 13-passengers, according to the guidelines.
The government was offering EC$250 per month for two months to help omnibus operators to cope with the shortfall.
However, Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves told the media last week that the government had overestimated the number of omnibuses in operation.
“You will recall that we had estimated in the Budget that there were as many as 1,400 minibuses that may be eligible for these resources,” the finance minister said.
He said that the minibus association countered that number.
“We got our information from the taxman, from Inland Revenue, but the minibus association, countered and said, there’s no way that they’re 1,400 minivans on the road.
“If you check with the insurance companies, you will see that far fewer minibuses are actually insured in the country,” Gonsalves said.
He said it was possible that the Inland Revenue was capturing other vans or the taxis and putting them in a minibus column when they really were not minibuses.
“The way that we corrected this was that the Minister of Transport and Works Julian Francis … asked minibuses to register for a benefit. The registration period has concluded and just under 400 minibuses have registered through the process that the Ministry of Transport and works elaborated,” the finance minister said.
Gonsalves said that because there are a lot fewer minibuses than the government anticipated, the state is giving a larger subsidy.
“So the benefit will be as such if you are a minibus operator and you have registered with the Ministry of Transport and Works, … over the last couple of weeks, you are eligible for between $450 and $550 a month depending on whether you are an 18-seater or 26-seater and that is a two month benefit.”
To collect the subsidy, the minibus operators would take their registration to the Ministry of Transportation and Works.