Transport blues

No end in sight to bus shortages

There is no immediate relief in sight for commuters hard hit by chronic bus shortages.

In a statement issued today, the Transport Board cautioned that the challenges were likely to continue in the coming weeks.

The board explained that a number of its buses were undergoing inspection at the licensing authority, but the process had stalled because the hoist at the Ministry of Transport and Works had been out of commission for more than a year.

It added that it had been working with the ministry in search of an alternative location to have inspection done, but this too was being hampered by the unavailability of equipment.

Consequently, the Transport Board is appealing to the travelling public for patience as it seeks to improve the situation.

It was revealed last week that Grantley Adams Memorial School students had been left stranded until about 8 p.m. due to the shortage of buses, raising fresh concerns about the reliability of the state- run service.

Following the revelation, Minister of Transport and Works Michael Lashley announced last night that he was considering the possibility of inviting privately-run public service vehicles (PSVs) to help transport pupils to and from school.   

Speaking at the Democratic Labour Party St George South branch meeting at the Ellerton Primary School, Lashley assured party faithful that his ministry was willing to work with the PSV operators to ensure that there was no repeat of the incident.

“I want to say that only on Thursday private owners came forward to us stating that they are willing to participate in the moving of school children. What we have to do is consult them further and meet with them to make sure that we have the requisite terms and conditions in place,” the minister said.

“I have to stress conditions because we don’t want to take children out of an environment only to put them back in the same environment. However it is something worth looking at because the private sector people have made an outstanding contribution to transportation,” Lashley stressed.

However, head of the Association of Private Transport Operators (APTO) Morris Lee told Barbados TODAY that the involvement of the PSVs in transporting students would be fraught with logistical issues.

Lee explained that while the privately-run operators had the necessary capacity to help, certain conditions must first be met.

“We believe that we have the capacity to assist in this regard. There are some routes that are overcrowded with minibuses and ZRs and there are other routes where school children and workers have to wait two hours to get a bus. So if the minister meets with us the issue of supply and demand can be met.

“It has to also be considered that school children are on vacation three times per year. So you can’t structure a 52-week transport system on 35 weeks of income. This is the very reason that the Transport Board is subsidized. So the $2 system cannot work 35 weeks then you are parked for the rest of the year,” Lee argued.

He also suggested that Lashley was premature in making such a declaration without first discussing it with either of the two private sector transport bodies.

“The minister is fully aware that if his concerns are to be addressed, he should follow the appropriate protocol and not randomly talk to owners who on their own cannot help. Instead he should be talking to the two associations. It was drawn to my attention only this morning that the Transport Board is down to 65 buses now so we are already transporting 90 per cent of the travelling public,” Lee said.

20 Responses to Transport blues

  1. John Everatt January 29, 2018 at 10:12 pm

    This is the worst government Barbados has ever had. Look at the facts. Transport, garbage, sewage, water, foreign exchange, deficit, and the list goes on. Why has the lift at the Transport Board not been operational for a year now? How do expect to repair and maintain the fleet with this crucial equipment broken down? But yet you seem to have no trouble paying for a new BWA building which is half empty. You have no problems rolling out $7 million plus for a 50th celebration. You spend money like water on useless things (a new limo for the PM) but can’t spend the money to maintain critical buildings and equipment. Sickening!!!

  2. Dick Tracy January 29, 2018 at 10:58 pm

    They have enough broken down buses to recondition, and rebuild. Take them over to Dodd’s and give the inmates something to do. Start a student on the job training teaching mechanics.

    What a bunch of non thinkers! They really need to go!

  3. Alex Alleyne January 29, 2018 at 11:30 pm

    If the hoist was out of order for over a year, then where the inspections were being done and at what price ?. I think it is a challenge now because the price no longer be met by Government.

  4. Keen Observer January 30, 2018 at 12:00 am

    Dodds is a great idea, may be we can get back some of the millions we are paying for the prison

  5. Sue Donym January 30, 2018 at 12:14 am

    This is sad.
    Is there a hoist at Transport Board? Is there a functioning hoist for heavy equipment at Simpson Motors or TransTech or L&N, all of whom have at some point provided/serviced/repaired the state buses?
    If “no”, does this mean that we might have been compromising the safety of riders for a year? If “yes”, must we not get the job done?

    I have to say that the minister looked uncertain, very uncomfortable in the video clip as he sought to explain what was being done about this situation of school transportation. Looked a lot like an ‘ad lib’.

  6. Sue Donym January 30, 2018 at 12:20 am

    @Dick Tracy and @Keen Observer, should we leave it to inexperienced inmates (some of whom might be in for dishonesty) to learn on the job with a national bus service?
    Seems that ZRs and minibuses would be the least of our transport worries.

  7. Committed Bajan January 30, 2018 at 2:42 am

    I wonder why a consultant at transport board was or is being paid $20,000 a month and the same problem is there

  8. Tony Webster January 30, 2018 at 6:04 am

    Check Grenada, where government owns and operates not a single bus but regulates a thriving and efficient P.S.V. sector!

    Ask the Minister of “Ummmm”, what he thinks is the solution- apart from throwing more hundreds of borrowed millions into yet another DEM sinkhole.

  9. jrsmith January 30, 2018 at 7:16 am

    Why are people expecting anything, from a government which was in power for a decade and they cannot point a finger at anything which works ………. Our Barbados infrastructure is 50 years old all of it………
    Even the politicians themselves should all just pack they bags , take a long journey to mars…..
    Its so hard to understand how could bajans just sit back day after day, excepting what has been dished out by the useless politicians ….. If people want change it will happen , but if you are waiting for some one else to bring about the change will never happen……
    Politicians don’t need or want change in Barbados , they have the people lock in and down , just where they want them, for politicians , they say what they like , do what they like anytime they like and cares not two hoots about the black masses, who like or lump it ….
    Bajans think changing a party is change , for me the biggest change we require in Barbados is to make politicians (Accountable) to the black people , who seems to be the only ones who is struggling economically , but the 1%ers still control our country………………………….

    • Jennifer January 30, 2018 at 10:29 am

      hahahahaha “Bajans think changing a party is change” Question bro>>>>>>So change from what to what??? All the trees awash with termites. Even the virgin crew all looking to get red.

  10. harry turnover January 30, 2018 at 7:38 am

    Talking about School Children being affected,…the Alleyne School in St.Andrew closes at 2.45 pm and children who live in St.Lucy DO NOT get home until after 6.00 pm EVERY EVENING because a bus ON TIME passes the School between 2.30 and 2.45 pm and the next bus ON TIME passes the School between 4.30 and 4.45 go up Farley Hill on route to Speightstown.

  11. luther thorne January 30, 2018 at 8:42 am


    Present Fleet not maintained
    Potholes multiplying like amoeba
    and destroying rolling stock.

    WHAT has the DLP done with all the money in Taxes ?
    One thing: Paid the largest and most unproductive Cabinet in the history of Barbados. Jobs for the boys and girls , money in the pockets of losing and non contesting candidates from the 2013 elections: Irene, Patrick, Esther, Jepster, Harry and Maxine with Darcy

    Fatted Calf Syndrome

  12. luther thorne January 30, 2018 at 8:57 am

    Jr Smith

    The Blacks are descendants of docile slaves conditioned to grin and bear and look for rewards in Heaven. Stiff upper lip – Bruv !! So you are not going to see any resistance from this present day generation who are even more bewitched than previous generations. With females in money earning positions and decision making roles, passivity and acceptance of nonsense is at an all time high. Cant allow anything to derail the quest for Materialism. Who me ?” They ask . I keeping quiet bosie, ” ” I gotta to pay my mortgage boh”
    My car want shocks and I still paying for um
    I holding onto muh lil pick – keeping quiet bosie.

    Somebody will deliver us

    • Jennifer January 30, 2018 at 10:41 am

      hahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. wah losssss you did it for me this morning. Now u talking right wing – well said. Must add – the recipients of that CRUEL era was not entirely docile. They just had no MILITARY, ECONOMIC OR POLITICAL MIGHT, and you know what >>>>>>> today in this era they still DON’T, just cuss each other for these lock down useless lot in town, and enjoy hopscotch voting. Same SCENE different participants.

  13. Richard Johnston January 30, 2018 at 11:52 am

    The wheels are literally coming off Barbados.

  14. jrsmith January 30, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    @, Jennifer, hail, hail, your (10:29) on the button , must add all the trees awash with termites , who then are the ant-eaters …….
    As for the voting , lots of people should close they eyes and put the (X) any where ,we then might stand a better chance , because lots of people then would feel a lot better if the same government is return to office, voters not taking the blame……..

  15. jrsmith January 30, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    @,Richard Johnson , hail , hail, they have lost a few already , all to Trinidad …………………

  16. Ossie Moore January 30, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    Lord mek peace!! Hoist out for more than a year ? Now cuddare! to tell me this in 2018 its got to be a joke Transport Board. This is the message I’ve got for the shop foreman at that Maintainence Shop. The next time an order is placed for a hoist make shure it has electro/mechanical lifting capabilities and a maintenence manual with parts supply listings included. The hours that hoist has not been working represents lost productive hours which means that the shop is unproductive.

  17. Helicopter(8P) January 30, 2018 at 4:49 pm

    Why? Does Barbadians know that they should be more that happy to be in a free independant democratic way of life ? Now lets see what it would be like for Barbadians to live under a Chinese prefecture.

  18. Karlos January 30, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    Lack of effective management and unsustainable business practices on so many fronts. Transport Authority mechanical lift out of order for over a year and nothing was done to correct that shortcoming? Low performance in many critical areas of society which is brought about by lack of good management, inadequate funding for critical infrastructure services all add up to poor outcomes all around.


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