Night Ride – AG urging businesses to transport evening staff
ACKNOWLEDGING that the Transport Board is unlikely to provide full service over the next few days, Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite is imploring the private sector to play its part in accommodating night staff.
Brathwaite made this call last night after the state-run Transport Board curtailed its operations at 4 p.m. yesterday and could once more be unlikely to use its fleet at full capacity today on roads made treacherous by the trail of destruction left by Tropical Storm Tomas.
At a Press briefing yesterday at the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) in Warrens, the Attorney General announced a shutdown of schools and added that only six routes were guaranteed today.
Brathwaite said he did not want the current challenges relating to public transport to have an impact on the hotel industry in particular, noting its significance to tourism.
“We have a responsibility to ensure that this sector is well serviced, so I am encouraging all Barbadians to put their hands to the plough in these trying times.
“I want to encourage the private sector in particular, because that is where staff will more than likely be working late, to be sensitive that there are transportation challenges, and where possible to look after staffers in terms of getting them to their homes.
“We have to work together if we are to get through this and come out at the end of the day with both the employers and employees feeling that they are both part of the same process,” he said.
The Transport Board will commence its service at 5 a.m. and its management team is expected to meet during the day to decide how many routes will be serviced.
Brathwaite said many roads were difficult to manoeuvre because of mud and downed power lines and trees.
“There are transport challenges and I am sure that most hotels would have had to pick up the slack in making sure their employees reach home safely,” he said.
The Attorney General made it clear the country would be open for business, with all of the commercial banks along with the Central Bank in operation.
“There will be no school, but the country is open for business as usual. We encourage Barbadians to go about their business as usual in spite of the challenges in terms of transportation and make their way to work,” he said.
Stressing that the various agencies would use this experience to ensure that they are in a better position to respond to future emergencies, Brathwaite said relief should be coming soon for the scores of Barbadians still without electricity and water.
He said that up to 65 per cent had water and about 50 per cent had power restored.