New terminal ‘might not change van culture’
While some commuters and public service vehicle (PSV) operators are ecstatic about the opening of the new Constitution River Terminal, they say it may not change the “culture” of the van stand as expected.
Over the years, rowdy behaviour, poor lighting, flooding and disorder have painted a negative picture of the terminal.
During a tour of the facility in 2015, Minister of Transport and Works Michael Lashley announced that the new facility, which cost $3 million, would bring about a major change in operations and with that, the bus stand would be a safer and more orderly place of business.
However, when a DAILY NATION team returned to the terminal yesterday after its official opening on Tuesday, some PSV operators, vendors and commuters said there were other serious matters that needed to be addressed.
Michael Brathwaite, a conductor of over 30 years’ experience, said more security was needed.
He added: “Most of the street lights don’t work, so it is not safe for people to walk in here at night.”
Brathwaite also said some PSV operators needed to be more professional in their work, which would help raise the standards of the industry.
Owner of Jacob Juices Fusions, Jerry “Jet Li” Taylor, who sold natural drinks in the terminal, said the area needed more than a “facelift” to change the atmosphere there.
“It is great, it is okay, but I hear it may be bad for some vendors as some of the shops have to move to accommodate shelter.
“And out here needs to be raised because as li’l rain falls, out here is flooded. That is dangerous, especially since some of the light poles get lick down and electricity still runs to the base, so you could get shocked,” he said, adding that “loiterers” needed to be banned from the stand as they “cause confusion”.
Dereck Maynard, who has been working on the Bush Hall route for more than 19 years, said he could not understand how the facility, which was built for public usage, was officially opened on Tuesday yet it was not “opened to the public”.
Commuter Yvette Davis, who lives in Silver Sands, and Jason Boxhill of Dover, both in Christ Church, agreed with Maynard, adding they had to wait and see if the facility would generate a sense of order as was promised.
Democratic Labour Party (DLP) candidate for St Michael North East, Patrick Todd was also spotted in the terminal. Just before hopping into a Route 11 ZR to go to a function, he said he was pleased with what Minister Lashley did. (SB)