Straughn not speaking for BLP on privatization of Transport Board, says Bostic

On the heels of his Barbados Labour Party (BLP) colleague hinting that it was time for the state-run Transport Board to be sold, Member of Parliament for The City Jeffrey Bostic is seeking to distance himself and the main Opposition party from talk of divestment of the loss-making entity.

Delivering the Eighth Tom Adams Memorial lecture last Tuesday, the BLP’s Christ Church East Central candidate Ryan Straughn suggested that privatization of the Transport Board was the way to go and that Government should leave ownership of public transportation in the hands of the private sector.

“When will we recognize that the Government of Barbados does not have to own a bus to deliver subsidized fares for any of its citizens?” the economist asked before the gathering of largely BLP supporters at the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) headquarters.

Harking back to the Tom Adams era, Straughn also argued that much had changed since that period when licences were given out to individuals to operate public transportation alongside the Government-run service to meet the travelling needs of Barbadians.

“Today there are more than 100,000 private vehicles in Barbados and such accessibility is no longer an issue as it was in 1976,” said Straughn, who also suggested that fly overs, bridges and tunnels may now be necessary and “if we must toll the infrastructure to finance their cost or for maintenance, then let’s do it so that taxpayers can commute to and from work, leisure or business with confidence”.

However, speaking to Barbados TODAY on the sidelines of his branch meeting at the BLP’s Roebuck Street headquarters on Sunday, Bostic made it clear that Straughn’s position on privatization of the Transport Board was his and his alone.

“I am a member of the parliamentary group of the Barbados Labour Party. . . . Those kinds of policy decisions are taken at the parliamentary group level, and at no time at all has that matter been discussed, and certainly that decision has never been taken by the parliamentary group of the Barbados Labour Party,” the lieutenant colonel said.

On Sunday, the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) also reacted to Straughn’s presentation.

In a prepared statement it said Straughn’s statements showed clear philosophical divide between Government and the Opposition.

“The guest speaker, who is a key person in the Barbados Labour Party economic team, sought to link the amount of cars on the road to a reduced need for access to public transportation,” the DLP said, adding that “the logic of the statement is that because more Barbadians now own cars, it is legitimate to privatize public transportation and put hundreds of hard working public sector workers on the breadline”.

The DLP also took issue with the fact that the BWU, which is bargaining agent for workers at the Transport Board, allowed Straughn to issue such a “threat” to employment of workers at the Transport Board on its grounds.

“The DLP is pilloried by special interest groups for keeping the International Monetary Fund at bay, we are balked at for keeping jobs and marched against for spreading the responsibility of taxes. However, without telling Barbadians how funds are going to be raised, a key Opposition spokesman is rolling out a suite of major expenditures, while hinting at a toll tax,” the DLP also cautioned in its statement while warning Barbadians not to allow the Opposition to erode the gains already made.

“The Democratic Labour Party is committed to maintaining public sector jobs, and to finding financially responsible ways to ensure those who can’t afford a car, or choose not to have a car have access to decent and affordable public transport. The divide and the choice is clear. We shall continue to preserve your jobs,” the ruling party added.

11 Responses to Straughn not speaking for BLP on privatization of Transport Board, says Bostic

  1. Stell Alleyne
    Stell Alleyne October 16, 2017 at 10:35 pm

    Off course you want that…and really do you think that ppl are that foolish to believe you aren’t speaking on the behalf of the BLP… sure I believe you!

    • Leroy October 17, 2017 at 9:15 am

      Go check the facts on transport and you will see if it needs privatizing or not.

      1. Check how many transport board buses take people around vs private(mini van+zr ect)

      2. Check the amount it cost taxpayers to transport a person vs private.

      3. Check how much transport board is losing $ and we surely know it is.

      4. Ask yourself if we are properly served with all the $ spent and if we have a reliable service.

      5. Ask why is our tax dollars going to pay a high paid person from a neighbouring island to make sure buses are repaired but over 4 years it hasnt improved.


  2. Tee White October 17, 2017 at 9:02 am

    The concept of a public transport system as being ‘loss making’ is nonsensical. Public transport is an important public service which allows citizens to travel around the country. Describing it as loss making makes as much sense as describing the educational system or the police force as loss making.

    Privatising the Transport Board will lead to routes that are not heavily used being abandoned and people without cars in those areas finding it even more difficult to get around. In addition, it will lead to the government subsidies being siphoned off as private profit. The problems of the Transport Board need to be solved but privatising it would be providing a ‘solution’ which is worse than the problem.

  3. Greengiant October 17, 2017 at 9:16 am

    This again shows the divide within the ranks of that party. Those supporting the opposition leader, and those supporting the chairman. They’re the ones trying to fool the public by playing on their emotions. The public, majority of them are emotionally affected by the harsh economic situation at the moment, and the leading parties are as usual trying to manipulate this. All they ever depend on to win an election is ‘a national swing’.

    • Carson C Cadogan October 17, 2017 at 11:48 am

      Do you remember that even S & P stated that the BLP is very divided??????

  4. Milli Watt October 17, 2017 at 9:44 am

    straughn better watch himself the last body to make such utterances was Wood from UWI and see where that got him de short man humble he early. that aside is this a CRACK I am seeing in this group again hmmmmmmmmmmm

  5. Carson C Cadogan October 17, 2017 at 11:20 am



    I am struggling to understand the political landscape in Barbados; bear with me people because as we all know, I don’t know much about politics.

    Ryan Straugh gives a lecture. It was the BLP annual Tom Adams lecture or sain so. It was stamped BLP. It was hosted by the BLP. It was streamed by the BLP. Ryan was billed as ‘BLP spokesman on the economy’. Ryan pronounced broadly on BLP economic policy towards transportation.

    BLP supporters waved pompoms all over FB. They all declared that the Transport Board want selling, and not now, every since. The lecture was touted as the most brilliant thing that happened in Barbados since Mia Mottley got a grade ‘O’ in A-level English. Sliced bread has nothing on Ryan’s stupendous articulacy.

    Now lo and behold! I see Bostic claiming that this is ‘not’ the policy of the BLP? That he is a part of the BLP’s parliamentary party (the group with the final say on what is official policy of the BLP) and that this is not on their agenda.

    Can they both be representing an official BLP position? “”

  6. Gearbox1964 October 17, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    Oh boy…I could see that commercial with the old lady and the Transport Board bus all over again.

    • Carson C Cadogan October 17, 2017 at 5:49 pm


      You making me laugh!!!!

  7. Carson C Cadogan October 17, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    This is what happens when you count your chickens before they are hatched. This happens to the crooked Barbados Labour Party all the time.

    They are so sure that they are going to win the next general elections, that they are now throwing caution to the wind. Tings coming out which are embarrassing them.

    The next BLP speaker will tell the nation when they are going to legalise SAME SEX MARRIAGE, WHEN THEY ARE GOING TO LEGALISE HOMOSEXUALITY and so on.

    Stay tune folks, 2013 all over again.

  8. Belfast October 17, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    How much money does the government collects in taxes and license fees and other incidentals from the privately owned Public Service Vehicles, and compare this with what the taxpayers of this country are forced to pump into the Transport Board every year?
    Looks like the Private PSV’s are already in part subsidising the state-owned Transport Board.
    The Transport Board is a very hot potato, the Government cannot run it efficiently, and neither can anyone else in Barbados who take over the rolling stock, staff and timetable, UCAL and other service providers and outstanding debts owed to just about every entity in Barbados.


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