Operators receive concession on one key demand
The operators of privately run public service vehicles (PSVs) have won one battle with the Ministry of Transport and Works (MTW), but two key demands remain outstanding.
Chairman of the Alliance of Owners of Public Transport (AOPT) Roy Raphael told Barbados TODAY this afternoon the PSV operators had one of their main grievances settled during a recent meeting with Minister of Transport Michael Lashley and ministry officials.
The issue surrounded entry into the River Bus Terminal for vans entering The City via Crumpton Street.
Raphael explained that prior to the agreement it had been illegal for the vehicles to turn right onto St Michael’s Row from Crumpton Street, then left onto the River Bus Terminal.
“And now they can officially park on the northern side of the terminal or bottom of the terminal. That matter has been resolved,” he said.
However, the two sides were unable to resolve the dispute over the ban on vans leaving the Lower Green Bus Terminal travelling via Baxter’s Road and restrictions on boarding passengers on Tudor Street, Raphael said.
He said the owners and operators had proposed a six-month trial period during which the vans would be allowed to travel along Baxter’s Road on their way out of the terminal and he was awaiting word from Lashley.
Raphael said he believed the minister was open to the suggestion but all stakeholders, including the police, needed to be comfortable with the recommendation.
“We have already put a proposal to them, that in our view to see how best we can work. I believe they [other stakeholders] are still waiting on the Commissioner of Police to give the final word on the matter. But I believe we are all ready and prepared to do a trial on it,” he said.
He explained that some minibuses currently use Baxter’s Road on their
out-bound journey, but the others, particularly those going to Speightstown, were not allowed to.
“We are not calling on all the minibuses to go through Baxter’s Road. There are some routes that are clearly earmarked allowing them to go through Baxter’s Road, while the others will continue on President Kennedy Drive. We will say mainly the Speightstown route, we want all of them to return to Baxter’s Road,” the PSV spokesman emphasized.
The AOPT boss added that a proposal to allow passengers at the Tudor Street bus stop to board the PSVs has been put on hold. The owners and operators had argued it would mean greater earnings. Right now, the buses are only permitted to allow commuters to alight at that stop.