Talks between Govt and PSVs take wrong turn

Fresh trouble appears to be brewing in this island’s public transportation sector.

During a meeting today with public service vehicle (PSV) operators, Minister of Transport and Works Michael Lashley reportedly announced that private PSVs would soon be prohibited from using Baxter’s Road as a means out of the City, while stating that he had already instructed the Director of the Transport Authority, Alex Linton, to issue letters to all private PSV owners and operators to that effect.

However, the plan is not sitting well with some private operators, given that buses operated by the state-run Transport Board will still be able to traverse along Baxter’s Road from the Cheapside bus terminal.

Expressing disgust at the unilateral decision taken by Government, one private operator said: “This decision will plunge the privately owned bus service into economic chaos, because of the unfair competition that will arise as a result of today’s decision.”

He pointed out that minibuses and route taxis plying such routes as Jackson, Rock Dundo and Hillaby would only be allowed to travel along Fontabelle and President Kennedy Road.

This evening, the President of the Alliance Owners of Public Transport Roy Raphael declined to comment on the developments, while interim Chairman of the Association of Public Transport Owners (APTO) Morris Lee could not be reached for comment.

However, Barbados TODAY understands that an emergency meeting has been scheduled for Sunday at the headquarters of the National Union of Public Workers at 4:30 p.m to discuss the developments.

Sources say they are not ruling out protest action at this stage.

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