PSV Centre soon on stream
As operators of public service vehicles (PSVs) continue to streamline the sector through the use of more technology, commuters could soon have real-time access to the location of buses on their routes, arrival times and top-up cards for bus fare.
Chairman of the Alliance Owners of Public Transport, Roy Raphael, told the DAILY NATION in an interview they would soon be bringing their Command Centre on stream to monitor the vans.
This centre, to be manned by one person, will monitor the vehicles which have GPS on board. To date, about ten PSVs already have GPS and 20 more are set to come on stream. The association represents more than 700 operators, including taxis, and there are more than 120 vans.
Raphael said PSV operators had submitted a proposal to Government to provide support to the Transport Board.
They would operate out of the Speightstown, Fairchild Street and Cheapside terminals, an expansion of the current Transport Authority Service Integration (TASI) project which was only operating on a limited basis. Vans could be deployed during peak times or sent to the various terminals as the need arose.
Technical consultant Terry Jones said it was also a move to get operators to clean up their act.
“This project is about lifting the standard of PSVs as they come on board to assist the Transport Board with its challenges. It is not bringing the bad behaviour from the sector into the Transport Board; it is looking to show they can provide that level of service,” he added.
GPS installations should be completed by monthend and the service should start rolling out then.
Jones said they were also moving towards a cashless system through the use of RFID (radio-frequency identification) where commuters could top up cards prior to travel and swipe the card reader on board the vans to deduct bus fare.
Senior citizens would have a special card so the owners could be compensated by Government.
Meanwhile, Raphael expressed concern about the lack of constant policing of the sector, especially in the River Terminal in The City. He said under the Terminals Act, security should be provided at all times, but there were occasions when no officers were present and PSV operators did as they liked.
He called for two inspectors with the same power as traffic inspectors to be assigned to the Command Centre who would be able to investigate reports, call the police for assistance or send drivers to the Licensing Authority. (SAT)