Move on to reduce imported buses
If local bus manufacturer L&N Workshop gets its wish, at least 30 decommissioned Heino buses will soon be back on the road, thereby reducing the need for new imported vehicles.
Following a tour of the business today, Minister of Transport and Works Michael Lashley reported that one Heino bus was currently under repair at the Cane Garden, St Thomas facility, and that L& N had also submitted a proposal to Government for fixing of another 30.
While the proposal remains subject to final approval, Lashley said he was very impressed with the level of work being done by the local manufacturer.
He also noted the Transport Board had a number of decommissioned buses that could be put back into service “at a cost that would save the board some money” and that “once the local bus industry can produce buses that the Board wants, then it would not have to import 100 buses”.
“The Transport Board has had no complaints about the quality of L & N’s work. We want to get additional rolling stock. We want to get more buses on the road. We need to get at least 25 to 30 buses back on the road. That is what we are aiming at and there are buses that can be refurbished,” the St Philip North MP explained.
Lashley said he had been informed that once the Heino buses were refurbished the Transport Board could get another six to seven years out of them.
He also said he had been assuranced by the management of L& N that, once repaired, a Heino bus that is 17 years old could give the Transport board another six to eight years service.
“We are impressed with what we saw here today. We are impressed with the tour bus. That is something too that we can look at as a revenue arm of the Transport Board. The Transport Board can acquire a tour bus and take visitors on tours of Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison and other historic sites across the country,” said Lashley, adding “it is really refreshing to be here”.
However, he dismissed suggestions that he had ever intended to import buses for the Transport Board through Courtesy Garage Ltd, saying he had merely accepted an invitation from the company to view their buses.