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Old problems face transport in the New Year

Minster of Transport and Works Michael Lashley’s New Year’s wish is for a more efficient and improved transport service.

Lashley has admitted to inefficiencies in the system, blaming a lack of finances for curtailing programmes developed to reverse the situation.

He told Barbados TODAY the “very senior fleet of buses” was an area of concern but that a plan had been devised to improve the lot.

“[We are] doing a two-prong approach to import some buses and employ local Barbadians to build the bus bodies and to use taxies that are imported so that we can further develop that manufacturing industry that used to build buses before . . . and we’re looking at some new routes so that we can make the routes more efficient,” he said.

Lashley is banking on the newly introduced Transport Authority Service Integration (TASI) project to help drive the process forward.

“I’m looking forward to see how the TSAI project will grow. I am very eager, in terms of the next three months, to see how that will go but it is a new concept and from my understanding it is working well.

“Hopefully when we go back in the New Year, we will have meetings with the operators to see what are the shortcomings, how we can improve it and what we can do to expand it,” he added.

However, the work does not stop there for Lashley who is the also the Member of Parliament for St Philip North. He revealed that a number of events were on the cards to reignite the “lost community spirit” in the New Year. These include a local gospel concert, a family movie night and a cricket match.

“This really is about building and bringing back that lost community spirit here in Barbados . . . building togetherness, building something that we have actually constructed and it has now been a standout in Barbados,” he explained.

The last two months were particularly painful for Lashley’s constituency which had to deal with the deaths of four young women and the hospitalization of a fifth from a vehicular accident and the shooting deaths of two men during the St Philip Carnival on November 30.

“We definitely have to go back the drawing board, particularly with carnival. We have to do a restructuring and look to see how, ways and means that we can strengthen it and make it a lot better,” he said. (FW)

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