Brakes put on transport project
The joint Transport Board/public service vehicle (PSV) project which operated out of two Bridgetown terminals, has ended with a whimper.
The Transport Authority Service Integration (TASI) project was implemented two years ago, allowing a small number of PSV operators to ply their trade from the Fairchild Street and Cheapside terminals to Edey Village, Christ Church; Sturges, St Thomas and Martin’s Bay, St John. However, the service to St John never got going.
A release from the Ministry of Transport, Works and Maintenance said the Transport Board would continue its service to Edey Village from the Fairchild Street Terminal, while ZRs 270 and 271 would leave the Constitution River Terminal.
Additionally, the minibus service to Sturges by B33, B61, B170, B240 and B108 would depart from Cheapside and the Transport Board buses would leave from the Princess Alice Terminal.
Concession fares done
Concession fares for the elderly and schoolchildren on these PSVs have also ended, so commuters will have to pay the full fare.
The spokespersons for the two PSV umbrella bodies, neither of which signed on, were not surprised.
“Its presence has no impact, its absence has no impact,” said chairman of the Association of Public Transport Operators, Morris Lee.
“There are too many routes. If you have over 80 routes and you did an experiment on two routes, that is not a benchmark big enough for any decision to be made about transport in Barbados.”
He added the Transport Authority would have to say whether it was a success or not.
‘Heading for disaster’
Chairman of the Alliance Owners of Public Transport, Roy Raphael, said his operators did not get involved because they were not consulted and “we felt it was heading for disaster”.
“If you want us to be part of the project, you have to get us involved from day one. We found ourselves in the position too many times where we were only consulted after the fact,” he said.
He added he believed not enough research was done before the routes were chosen, and there was no monitoring system in place, for example via a ticket or otherwise, to indicate how many passengers were moved, particularly to account for concession fares for the elderly and schoolchildren. (SAT)