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Edey Village bus blues

CARLOS ATWELL, [email protected]

Edey Village bus blues

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Views are mixed in Edey Village, Christ Church, regarding the cancellation of the Transport Authority Service Integration (TASI) programme. But overall, residents are pleased.

They said when the programme was working, they found themselves at a severe disadvantage.

“It’s good the schoolchildren and old people will have to pay now because they used to crowd the van and we couldn’t get in. They had people from all around getting in we van and we in turn couldn’t even depend on the Transport Board bus as sometimes we had to wait hours for one,” said Valencia Small.

TASI was an experimental project implemented two years ago by the then Democratic Labour Party Administration, allowing a small number of Public Service Vehicle (PSV) operators to work routes such as Edey Village, Christ Church and Sturges, St Thomas, from the Fairchild Street Terminal.

Government subsidised fares for schoolchildren and the elderly, just as with Transport Board buses, but with the culmination of the project, the PSVs will be going back to normal service, which means everyone boarding them will be charged and the vans will be departing from the Constitution River Terminal.

Residents were already aware of this because they had been called to attend a meeting last Saturday at which it was all explained.


Against free bus fare


Hortenze Small-Burton said she didn’t mind children paying fares again as she was against free bus fare for schoolchildren. Her only wish was that the vans could still operate from close to the bus terminal.

Small-Burton also spoke of some of the horrors she went through trying to get home when the vans were off road for servicing.

“One morning the van break down and we had to walk to Boarded Hall in St George and the other evening the van had to get new numbers from the Licensing Authority and I had to catch a different bus, get off at the old BET in Wildey and walk home because my bus like it wasn’t running,” she said.

Shanta Gibson said she did not travel by public transport that often but knew how full the vans got, especially when the bus did not come, which was often. She said at least the vans were on time but added she heard they would soon be pulled altogether.

“I was told the Government would be getting rid of the vans and replacing them with buses that ran out St George. I’m not sure how that will work because St George got problems too,” she said.

Victor Gibson said he hoped TASI would have continued as moving between the bus terminal and the Constitution River Terminal could be a hassle for some, especially when it rained.

Many residents said the vans were a godsend on mornings for those who had to get to work early.  Samantha Small told the Saturday Sun the people of Edey Village had formed a bond with the drivers but she, too, lamented how difficult it was for them to catch the vans on evenings. She hoped it would be easier on them.

The other suggestions included allowing the Yorkshire bus to travel to the Edey Village route and letting the vans run later than 8 p.m. (CA)