Under scrutiny

PSV owners to keep a closer eye on drivers

Operators of privately-owned public service vehicles (PSVs) will come under greater scrutiny from next year, as owners attempt to crackdown on unruly behaviour.

The umbrella organization of PSV owners has announced plans to keep a close eye on drivers by introducing a command centre from which the vehicles, as well as drivers’ behaviour, can be monitored.

Chairman of the Alliance Owners of Public Transport (AOPT) Roy Raphael told Barbados TODAY this would be done through global positioning system (GPS) navigational facilities and a rapid response system.

“Next year God willing we are going to be opening our own command centre. The command centre will have two components. The first component will be the monitoring of all PSVs via a GPS system . . . and the public will get an opportunity to see where the next bus will be. And then the second phase of the command centre will see a patrol unit where inspectors will be patrolling and actually responding to reports out there, particularly from complaints from the command centre,” Raphael explained.

He said the inspectors were expected to be provided by the Transport Authority through the Ministry of Transport, and would be assigned to the PSV command centre.

He said the organization was in the process of identifying a venue near the new River Bus Terminal on Nursery Drive, The City to establish the centre, and was hoping that it would be operational by the middle of 2018.

In the meantime, Raphael said, the AOPT had already launched a pilot project with GPS facilities on 12 PSVs plying various routes.

“We need to have a number of the PSVs with GPS. Right now we are doing a pilot project where we have about 12 PSVs with GPS [units] and we can tell where they are and we can also monitor their speed, if they stop at a bus stop, if they are off route. We can monitor that now that we are about to put our command centre in place,” the spokesman for the PSV owners said.

Raphael said the playing of loud music by ZR and minibus drivers remained a worrying issue for the owners, many of whom, he said, did not spend time aboard the vehicles to monitor the operators.

He said there were still too many complaints from passengers about the noise levels and the type of music being played on these vehicles, charging that this lawlessness was taken place at a time when the association was trying to get the PSV owners to exercise greater control over those who operate their vehicles.

“We are very, very concerned . . . about the type of music being played, particularly what they [drivers] called promotional music, and we are getting a number of calls from the public, particularly about the type of lyrics being played on the vans . . . and some of them are loud, and they have some PSV operators who fail to cooperate with the passengers when asked to turn it down,” Raphael lamented.

“There are some PSV owners who just do not go on their vehicles to see what state the vehicles are in. So we are calling on the owners to be more mindful to take the opportunity go on their vehicles and witness what the public is concerned about. It is against the law generally to play music on public service vehicles,” he warned.

He cautioned that the new Road Traffic Act which should soon come into force, provides for the suspension of a permit for six months, after three complaints are made against an owner. The Act, which was recently passed by Parliament imposes tougher penalties for breaches and calls for random drug and alcohol testing.


9 Responses to Under scrutiny

  1. Saga Boy December 28, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    A pack of unruly, ignorant, aggressive, inconsiderate, lawless fools who believe that the roads belong to them.

  2. Alex Alleyne December 29, 2017 at 3:47 am

    Inspectors out and about to rope in these road hogs. This mean that fares will go up cos money got to come from somewhere to pay this new set of employees.
    In the end the consumer are the ones to get burn.

  3. archy perch December 29, 2017 at 5:54 am

    This bunch of unruly, nasty, smelly lowlifes are on the same scale as some of the coconut venders. Zero tolerance and stern punishment for their abuses of the laws of Barbados and its citizens should be enforced by the authorities. Kicking arse is required, not the powder puff.

  4. luther thorne December 29, 2017 at 8:36 am

    Music on buses is in itself an attractive thing. There is an innate desire to hear music when driving. It goes very well with driving along in a vehicle. Local People sing hymns , beat cymbals and raise their voices in joyous rapture when picniking and driving around the island and this I am told goes back to the days of the excursion. So music on Buses seem natural and desired.

    The problem comes when there is generational and gender divide. Young people like aggressive and loud music with pulsating beats that match their youthful and aggressive spirit. Women and older
    People prefer slower and what they call ‘ sentimental’ music. When there is clash of these dynamics , a problem arises. On PSV , the problem can be solved by installing Ear Phone Ports where the passenger brings his own ear – phone and plugs into the port and he can burst his ear drum if he wants to. Problem Solved.

    • O. Walrond December 29, 2017 at 1:13 pm

      I prefer no music at all, especially given the drivel that passes for music these days. So I refuse to take ZR’s and some mini buses.

      A public service vehicle should be devoid of music. If people wish to hear music let them turn on their radios when they get home.

    • Sue Donym December 29, 2017 at 8:37 pm

      @luther thorne this is one of the most reasoned responses to this PSV music situation. The back story makes sense. The PSVs that could make the idea work should have an advantage.

  5. milli watt December 29, 2017 at 1:02 pm


  6. luther thorne December 29, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    O. Walrond !

    I propose that there be Ear phone Ports.

    This is how it works
    You get in the Van with your ear phones
    Every seat in the van has an input where you can put your ear phone jack and listen to piped music or a radio station. The music would not be heard in the Van. You would have to have an ear – phone to plug into the jack and nobody would hear what you ate listening to

    Do you understand ?

  7. Belfast December 29, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    Well if this scrutiny starts on Jan 1st 2018, we can look out for these PSV operators to be back to their old tricks by January 10th 2018. Just like Michael Lashley and the wearing of uniforms.
    We are a lot of toothless bulldogs.


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