Ricardo Brooks reports:

The Transport Authority is warning taxi and bus operators who overcharge passengers that they may face prosecution if they persist in the practice.

The warning comes amid reports that several operators in Manchester and parts of Kingston and St. Andrew are demanding more than the approved fares from their passengers.

The government approved a 15-percent increase for private bus and taxi operators last week.

The Transport Authority says it has deployed monitoring teams along several routes since yesterday.

The 15-percent increase in fares announced last Friday has been panned as insufficient and an insult to operators in the transportation sector.

It appears some taxi and bus operators have taken matters into their own hands.

They’re simply charging more.

But Communications Manager at the Transport Authority, Petra Keane Williams, is warning that there will be consequences.

Operators brought before the Licensing Board may have their transportation licenses suspended or revoked.

Miss Williams says the Transport Authority yesterday received reports of overcharging in the Christiana and Spaldings areas of Manchester.

The Transport Authority says commuters were also overcharged along different routes in St. Andrew.

The Authority has also found instances of taxi and bus operators which were overcharging prior to the announced increase on Friday.

The transport operators say with massive increases in operating costs, they have little choice but to demand more in fares.

Mrs. Williams is urging stakeholders to strive for a balance.

She’s urging commuters to report overcharging to the Authority.