33 electric buses, private fleets, set fares to boost public transport
Oistins bus terminal during COVID-19. (FILE)
There may be more changes to come to the Transport sector of Barbados during this global pandemic, COVID-19. This is according to the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley.
She says that the government will have to work alongside the private and public sector in regard to moving to a system where private coaches, ZM vehicles, ZRs and minibuses will be used for our island-wide transportation purposes.
She is particularly working, at this moment, with the Ross University coaches due to the fact that face-to-face classes at the Barbados-campus have been suspended during this crisis.
The Prime Minister is also proud to announce that the 33 electric buses which arrived on the island recently are set to be in operation at the end of July 2020.
Additionally, in time to come, there will be discussions concerning taxi drivers changing their pricing for a more affordable means of travel and standardization of costs.
“There are some people who will want to get somewhere, may not necessarily want to be exposed on a bus but may be prepared to go in a taxi but we need to have a transparent system for charging…” She said that currently taxis in Barbados do not operate on a metering system but the technology is out there to achieve set rates for those persons who feel safer in a taxi but who do not want to be hoodwinked by extortionist operators out to capitalise on a negative situation.
Meetings are also underway within the Transport subsector with Minister of Transport, Works and Maintenance Dr William Duguid to improve current services.
Mottley said that the government is aware that not all operators are adhering to the 60 per cent capacity directive and she took a moment to call on operators - drivers and conductors, to cease and desist from ignoring this rule. "Not in all instances regrettably transport providers have adhered to 60 per cent that we have asked them to adhere to. We are reminding them of it. It is for their own benefit," she insisted.
Furthermore, in respect to the sanitization of the buses and vans constantly, understandably she added, "We recognise and we will continue to do, to see what other forms of equipment we can get to disinfect and to clean in a more efficient and effective way all areas of mass movement, mass transport."