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Economist Ryan Straughn wants private service vehicle operators to enjoy subsidised fares just like the government-owned Transport Board.
He has also advanced a range of ideas to improve Barbados’ public transportation system that would ultimately make the ABC Highway the transformational piece of infrastructure as he believed late Prime Minister Tom Adams envisioned it.
Delivering the annual Tom Adams Memorial lecture at Solidarity House Wednesday night, the economist who is also the Barbados Labour Party’s candidate for Christ Church East Central in the next general elections, said Adams had “legalised and facilitated” minibus operations through the issuing of licenses for public service vehicles to Barbadian citizens back in the 1970’s
This “partial privatisation of public transportation and the economic enfranchisement of those operating public service vehicles” Straughn argued was necessary then. He said government should now recognise it “does not have to own the bus to deliver subsidised fares for any of its citizens.”
“Today there are more than 100 000 private vehicles in Barbados and such accessibility is no longer an issue as it was in 1976”, Straughn told a packed Solidarity House.
Exploring the topic Transforming Barbados’ Economy In An Ever Increasing Uncertain World: Lessons From Tom Adams For The 21st Century, Straughn credited Adams with diversifying Barbados’ economy to “a sophisticated modern economy” during his tenure.