National disgrace!

Gooding-Edghill says state bus system allowed to fall apart

The Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) spokesman on transportation is demanding a “credible and functional” plan from Government to increase the number of buses on the roads and bring relief to the travelling public.

Former Chairman of the Transport Board Ian Gooding-Edghill complained in a recent statement that the state-run bus system had become a “national disgrace and embarrassment” and the Freundel Stuart administration did not appear to have a plan to remedy the situation.

The BLP St Michael West Central candidate charged the current administration was mismanaging the transport agency, spending over $108 million on maintenance with little to show for it.

“Clearly the Board has abandoned the fleet replacement policy put in place by the BLP. The investment would have reversed the steep decline in passengers from 23.5 million in the 2010/11 financial year to 17.4 million for 2015/16, a loss of some 6.1 million passengers and also badly needed revenue,” he argued.

“I am calling on the Transport Minister to, even at this late stage, demonstrate urgency and initiative showing that he is finally aware of, and sensitive to, the plight of bus travellers, and most of all that he has a credible and functional plan to shortly bring them lasting relief, through a reliable bus service based on an adequate supply of working buses. The long-suffering travelling public deserves nothing less.”

The Opposition politician, who lost the seat by 193 votes to James Paul of the governing Democratic Labour Party in 2013, said the shortage of buses, compounded by financial problems, had been going on for much too long and Barbadians were the ones suffering as a result.

He contended that not since the early 1990s had the Transport Board been in such a “deplorable” position.

“The harsh reality that the travelling public who heavily depend on Transport Board buses to go about their daily business still have to endure a disgracefully low supply of buses, making it punishingly difficult and even impossible for them to get to school, work and social activities on time or at all. And on their way back home the story is the same: agony and frustration from long waits at bus stops and in bus terminals.

“This deplorable situation has not only been going on for far too long, but shows no sign of getting better any time soon. The Board’s daily supply of buses on the road is at its lowest and worst in nearly 23 years, since the Board has not been able to buy any new buses since 2006. Also, repair and maintenance of its old fleet of buses has been nothing short of a national disgrace and embarrassment, despite having recruited allegedly specialist, high-price foreign personnel to turn things around,” he added.

10 Responses to National disgrace!

  1. BaJan boy May 19, 2017 at 12:07 am

    What do you think when BMW’s and X7’s Audis are paid for from the account.

  2. Richard Johnston May 19, 2017 at 7:41 am

    When I was in Barbados in April I waited in vain in Bridgetown for more than an hour for a blue bus to go up the west coast, then I risked life and limb and boarded a yellow death trap and survived. Yes, the system is on the point of breaking down entirely.

  3. Alex Alleyne May 19, 2017 at 8:59 am

    “Clearly the Board has abandoned the fleet replacement policy put in place by the BLP”. That was a “MASHUP AND BUY BACK” in times of plenty money. What BDS need is a seriously run repair shop with the techs in a programme of ongoing training. Seeing that the WILLIAMS brothers do have tons of money , they can set up an auto plant (in BIM of course) and manufacture bus bodies that will employ couple hundred persons. Source spare parts directly from the makers and not no “aftermarket” cheap stuff through a 3rd party who then inflate the prices and soak (government) the tax payer. All those engines and transmissions that sitting out there in the yard or on the ground will be put back in to use . In doing this BDS will have more than enough public transportation for the masses to travel to and from in a timely manner.

    • Leroy May 19, 2017 at 12:47 pm

      And maybe export parts to because local supply cannot sustain such a plant. However that would require private and/or gov assistance in approaching manufacturers to lobby them to build a plant in barbados,, it would be wise for a private investor to try this on their own unless Gov gets on stream and commits to certain parts of it.

      Market research can tell us what we can produce and sell to our neighbouring islands and have available to wider caribbean and central america.

      • Leroy May 19, 2017 at 12:50 pm

        correction – “wouldn’t be wise for private investor”***

  4. Alex Alleyne May 19, 2017 at 9:03 am

    Also the BROTHERS must get the same concessions as the Hotel guy Butch. “NO IF’S, BUT’S NOR AND’S.

  5. Milli Watt May 19, 2017 at 11:25 am

    politicians own permits, policemen own permits, lawyers own permits, doctors own permits…………you understand where I goin wid dis and I believe you got a permit. Now tell me in who’s interest would it be in to let the system fail. LET IT FAIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. tsquires May 19, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    @Milli Watt you have hit the nail squarely on it’s head, therefore case closed with nothing further to be said.

  7. Alex Alleyne May 19, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    @Leroy , we all know quite well that all this will be open for discussion. Some “rich black people” can also add to the pool to get the project off the ground and collect a piece of the pie.
    The problem with “most” black business people in Bim they look for a profit as soon as the “cat -lick-its- ear”. In business you must make up in mind to go the long haul.
    For the betterment of BIM , “IT CAN BE DONE”

  8. Mr Rock usa May 21, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    My solution is this. Sell the Transport board to its members. I think there will fine a way to run it better that goverment. In all seriousness, I have be saying for years that the time had come for a rapped overhead train system. Do we have anyone on bim who can think like me? It don’t look so!


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