AOPT members fearful of Gov't adding coaches, taxis to the PSV mix
(FILE) Constitution River Terminal
The Alliance Owners of Public Transportation (AOPT) has expressed concern about the impact Government's plan to augment the island's transport system will have on its members.
Last week Thursday, Prime Minister Mia Mottley hinted at incorporating privately run coaches and taxis to boost the current bus capacity. She stated that some Barbadians may not want to travel on the bus during the pandemic, but may prefer to travel to their destination by taxi. For this option to work a transparent system for fares needs to be put in place, she asserted. She even made mention of having a meter installed.
AOPT Communications and Marketing Officer, Mark Haynes told Loop News that the augmentation project will have a serious financial impact on its members who have been struggling to keep their heads above water over the past seven weeks since COVID-19 was confirmed on island.
"We are already down at 60 per cent capacity. There is the fear that it will take away from the guys who normally ply the route and these guys are concerned that because they are 60 per cent capacity, [the augumentation] will put them at a great disadvantage," Haynes said.
"The transportation system becomes more competitive, hence, it puts more problems on existing vehicles so this is why persons are concerned," he added.
He disclosed that the AOPT will be holding a meeting very soon with its members to discuss the augmentation of the island's transportation network.
"It was thrown out in the public domain. Everyone would have heard about it. [So,] We are prepared to deal with it because persons have called us and asked about it," Haynes commented.
Briefly touching on the topic of the school bus service, Haynes expressed that he hoped Government will re-examine the 60 per cent capacity for school buses and PSVs in time for the June 14 reopening of the school term.
"We will continue to move the school children . . . because a large number of school children do catch our buses and the workers in the sector are still amiable to responding to them. We will hope by then that the question of capacity restriction has changed to facilitate more school children or when the island returns to normality. When that time comes we will be more than happy to move the students across the breadth of Barbados," he said.