Morris clears the air on transport queries
The Government of Barbados sought to clear the air on some of the issues which were recently raised on social media in relation to the island’s public transportation system.
In a media release tonight, press secretary Roy Morris addressed the number of passengers allowed on public service vehicles and answered queries on the Transport Augmentation Programme (TAP), including permits and how school children would be counted.
The full statement follows:
Since Government introduced some initiatives in recent weeks to bring relief to commuters who have been complaining, and justifiably so, about the long wait for buses, a number of concerns have been raised on social media that deserve clarification.
In relation to the decision to allow minibuses and route taxis (ZR vans) to carry larger numbers of passengers, concerned members of the public should note the following:
Having made these changes, we appeal to operators as well as commuters not to load vehicles beyond the specifications of the manufacturers since to do so would be to put themselves at risk.
On the question of how school children will be counted under the Transport Augmentation Programme (TAP), commuters and PSV operators should note the following:
All public transport operators, whether employed by the Transport Board, or as private operators under TAP or outside of TAP, should recognize that while we appreciate greatly their desire to move passengers, they have an obligation to work within the law.
In the interest of transparency, it is noted that every private operator who joins TAP will be issue with a “00” permit similar to that under which Transport Board buses operate. This will allow dispatchers in the terminals to assign vehicles to any route as the demand requires.
It is the duty and responsibility of the owner of the bus to visit the Barbados Licensing Authority and acquire that permit so the driver can produce it on demand by any police officer. The BLA and the Barbados Transport Authority have already put systems in place to ensure that owners are speedily facilitated.
Officials at the Ministry of Transport, Works and Maintenance, Barbados Licensing Authority, Transport Board and the Barbados Transport Authority are extremely grateful for the interest and enthusiasm shown by those private operators who have joined TAP and will take all necessary action to facilitate their smooth integration.
However, we accept that any such initiative will encounter teething challenges and pledge to work through them in the coming days, in the interest of Barbadians who have in recent years not been receiving the quality of public transport they deserve.
During the course of this week, as more private operators roll into and out of the terminals at Princess Alice, Speightstown and Fairchild Street under TAP we pledge to strength our communication with the public and between the partners in the interest of commuters.