HAMILTON, Bermuda – A new million-dollar government bus schedule that took 17 years to iron out has been scrapped after just six weeks.
Transport Minister Zane DeSilva told reporters that the recently adopted timetable would be ripped up because of complaints over inadequate service and rest times for drivers. He said the old schedule will be used again from next Monday.
Canadian company, Schedule Masters Inc, had been paid more than US$1.6 million over the past 17 years to create the new bus schedule.
When agreement on the new schedule was reached late last year Chris Furbert, president of the Bermuda Industrial Union, said it was a “great day”.
But its implementation was then held up by a series of delays.
“After six weeks of operating the new 2019 bus schedule it is being determined that the change is necessary to thoroughly address concerns with schedule trip times and rest times for bus operators,” DeSilva told a news conference.
He said feedback from bus operators and the public on the performance of the 2019 bus schedule indicated challenges with service frequency and insufficient capacity.
“The reports include inadequate service during morning and afternoon peak times, over and above what was experienced in the previous schedule.
“The new schedule did not provide sufficient rest time between trips, presenting health and safety concerns for bus operators and the travelling public and must be addressed immediately. This decision was not taken lightly but it is the only recourse to address concerns and safety of our operators and passengers.”
DeSilva said adjustments made to the new 2019 schedule were to provide additional lift, but that it required daily coordination of unscheduled work that did not address rest time for operators.
He said restoring the bus fleet was a priority for the Department of Public Transportation. (CMC)