No increase in busfares, says Lashley
THERE WILL BE no increase in bus fares.
That was the firm word from Minister of Transport and Works Michael Lashley, who was responding last night (Thursday) to an alleged “red flag” being raised by the Barbados Labour Party.
“We, as a Government, have made no pronouncement on an increase in bus fares,” Lashley told the House of Assembly during debate on the 2013 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals.
Though boasting that the fleet on the road was increased from about 150 to 212 under the Democratic Labour Party Government, Lashley acknowledged that the fleet was aging and new buses would have to be brought on at “some time” either by direct purchase or lease.
He also said the board was facing some challenges, but was looking at more revenue earning mechanisms.
The Minister also said it had been agreed there would be a “total remarketing” of the board and that more profitable routes had to be created.
Lashley also spoke about other projects about to undertaken, including the Josey River Bridge, St Joseph for which a contract had been awarded to a Chinese firm for $2 million, and would be launched within “another two weeks or so”.
The “critical” bridges in the Scotland District, St Andrew were also to be looked at, Lashley said. Those bridges include St Saviour’s, St Simon and Thompson.
He gave the assurance that the upcoming road projects would impact on all 30 constituencies and that jobs would be created.
In response to a suggestion from Dale Marshall, MP for St Joseph that Government save money by getting rid of the embattled constituency councils, Lashley defended their continued existence by stating that they were an “important tool” in the ongoing crisis in terms of assisting entrepreneurs and helping people. (YB)