AWRIGHT DEN: Bus stop upgrades
Mr Speaker and honourable members, I thank you for the opportunity to continue from where I left off last week. I do hope my recommendations were assessed to see if they were relevant and applicable to the ongoing challenges with the public service vehicle community.
Mr Speaker, I own a vehicle and enjoy the comfort and convenience that is associated with driving and travelling at my own free will. It is not a comfort that I take for granted because not so long ago, I did not have this privilege. I have witnessed and also experienced the horrors, dangers and I would even add embarrassment of having to catch public transportation. The issue isn’t the transportation, but the location of many of the bus stops that commuters wait by.
Without having seen all the locations of bus stops in Barbados, I am very confident in saying that the majority of them are badly situated and pose serious danger to the travelling public.
Here are my recommendations:
1. Bus stops should be located in areas that are convenient and safe for pedestrians and road users. Before a decision on the location is decided, there should be consultation done with residents/business owners in the chosen area, the Drainage Unit and Environmental Division.
2. Where possible, those within the ministry responsible for siting bus stops should look for areas where there can be the installation of lay-bys and areas where pedestrians aren’t in danger of direct oncoming traffic. Where these areas don’t exist, the ministry should seek to create them.
3. The area where passengers disembark and board the bus should be non-slippery and designed so that there is no chance of water settling.
4. Areas surrounding bus stops should be free of bush and shrubs at all times and should be adequately lighted so as to give the public a sense of safety.
5. All bus stops should have adequate seating. For instance, bus stops in The City or in Warrens would have accommodation for more seating than in some rural areas.
6. All bus stops should provide shelter from the elements.
a. The sides of the shelter should be transparent and designed to provide maximum protection to citizens from the elements and possible splashing from vehicles, yet have good ventilation.
b. All shelters should have garbage bins.
c. The shelter should be equipped with LED lighting powered by a photovoltaic panel and controlled by a photoelectric cell.
d. All shelters should have steel bollards installed to protect the public.
e. There should be information outside all bus stops informing the public which buses stop there. There should also be information inside the shelter outlining the communities or areas the various buses travel through; frequency and time of buses; time of first and last bus; and a highlighted spot marking where you currently are on the route. Additionally, there should be emergency contact information and a contact number for customer service of the Transport Board.
f. Within the future, through the use of technology, there should be the introduction of electronic passenger information systems. Authorities would be able to communicate with the public through HD displays informing them on the location of buses in proximity to their location, any delays or irregularities and any urgent information pertinent to the public (transportation, national or otherwise).
7. Pedestrian crossings should be located in close proximity to bus stops and each crossing should have pedestrian stoplights.
8. There should be a team who are responsible for the maintenance and inspection of all bus stops.
Mr Speaker, I believe that corporate Barbados, non-governmental organisations and individuals would support a major upgrade, modernisation and standardisation of bus stops in our country. No task is too great or no undertaking too costly when it comes to the safety and comfort of our citizens.
These recommendations have been successful in other countries and I believe if implemented, would not only be warmly appreciated by the travelling public but would show a sense of sensitivity, care and concern for those who use public transportation.
Mr Speaker, I thank you.
Corey Worrell is a former Commonwealth Youth Ambassador. Email [email protected]