OUTSIDE THE PULPIT: Key services for keeping

Reverend Errington Massiah,

Added 09 November 2012

Over the past weeks there has been much debate over whether the Government should privatize certain state assets. Prime Minister Freundel Stuart on Sunday night brought some form of comfort to the ordinary person when he stated that his administration would not hand over to the private sector key services such as education, health and transportation. Public transportation must be seen as a social service and must be kept in the hands of the Government. As a person who grew up in St George and still lives in rural Barbados, I consider privatization of public transportation a no-no. It will not work in the 21st century, especially for rural residents working late. I do not see private owners providing late services. I can remember when the St George Bus Company plied the Greens, St Judes, Workman’s and Ellerton routes and the last bus during the week was 8 p.m. On Sundays and bank holidays there was a bus every two hours. Are we going back to that situation? It did not allow us to have much town life if any at all! Do not speak about Bathsheba – the last bus during the week to Bathsheba was 6 p.m.! Might I suggest that near the St George Parish Church be a hub for buses on the routes 7, 8A and 8. From there passengers should board smaller buses for transport into Bridgetown. I believe this would save a great deal of diesel. In order to attract passengers, the board has to look at a transfer system – for example, people coming from the north and going to the Warrens area can be given a transfer ticket in Eagle Hall, and I am sure that will encourage passengers to use the Transport Board buses.  

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