Transport Board to be revamped

The Transport Board is to be restructured!

This latest indication of the future of the statutory body

from Minister of Transport and Works Michael Lashley, who

is of the firm view that this critical body cannot operate in the

same way it has before, in light of the current challenges the

country and the economy are now facing.

“We have to integrate the private transportation with

the public transport. It is too costly in terms of the expenses

and we are looking at bringing efficiencies to the [Transport]

Board. That is part of the restructuring programme . . . to bring

a level of profitability to the Transport Board.

“We are looking at new routes. We are looking at engaging

the Transport Board and the Transport Authority to work

together as one. We have two committees in place that

should be reporting back to us within a week’s time with that

restructuring plan. Once we look at it internally, we will send it

up to Cabinet for Cabinet’s approval,” he said, as he suggested

that a new method of integrating private and public transport

was necessary.

“Once we integrate [the two of them] it means that we

have to look at how are we going to control the private

transport, in terms of servicing the public; and, of course,

that will mean having to look at regulations. If that means

amending the existing legislation to have tighter controls and

tighter regulations so that the travelling public will not be

disadvantaged, that will be done . . . .

“But, there must be a mixed approach with private transport

and public transport, but still maintaining that social [element]

. . . . We have an interest to protect we have the travelling

public to protect; and public transport will be there to satisfy

the needs of the travelling public,” Lashley stated as he noted

there were some routes which needed serious rationalization.

“You have a bus going to some routes with one person in

it. That is a cost in terms of fuel. That is maintenance. We have

to look at ways and means of how we are going to schedule

transportation; and the other thing that we will have to look

at is: are we going to continue to buy these big buses when

we can utilize some smaller [ones]? All of those things we are

looking at . . . . We have to bring about efficiencies to

the system.

“Where there is evidence of wastage, it will be stopped.

Where there is evidence of inefficiency, it will be stopped . . . .

You are running buses sometimes on routes that are serviced

by ten and 15 ZR vans, and when you look at the Transport

Board bus only one person is sitting in it? I have a problem

with that,” the minister told journalists this morning. (RG)

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