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OUTSIDE THE PULPIT: No to minibuses in bus terminal

Reverend Errington Massiah

OUTSIDE THE PULPIT: No to minibuses in bus terminal

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The wolf shall dwell with the lamb and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the lion and the fatling together and a little child shall lead them – Isaiah 11:6

It was very refreshing to know that Minister of Transport and Works Michael Lashley and Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation Ronald Jones paid a visit to the Fairchild Street Bus Terminal on the first day of the new school term.

I am sure they were able to learn many things about the schoolchildren and the travelling public from that visit. There were able to observe the behaviour of the passengers  – school children, as well as the operators – bus drivers. To me it was first-hand information. Both  Lashley and Jones can now say like St John 1:1, “I have seen with my eyes and heard with my ears.”

It was very pleasing and I welcome the announcement that there will be consideration of a cut-off time of 8:45 a.m. for students getting free rides in the buses.

The free ride system is being abused by children daily. I am one who believes that too much freeness is not good. When something is free, people do not appreciate it. In Barbados, there is too much freeness and it cannot go on like this for ever. No country can run on so much freeness.  

But there was another announcement by the Minister Lashley that I do not agree with; and this has to do with the plan to allow the minibuses to operate from the same terminal as the Transport Board. Tell me how is that going to work?

As I see it, it is a recipe for disaster. How can you put the minibuses to compete against the Transport Board that has haemorrhage problems which was one of the reasons that workers were sent home.

So far, we have been unable to control the minibuses outside the terminal, how are we going to control them within the terminal? Are they going to work with the same timetable that is given – if there is one?

Who is going to control them, because some of them seem to be laws unto themselves. I am sure that by putting the minibuses to operate from the same terminal as the Transport Board, it will further reduce the income of the Transport Board.