Parliamentary representative for St. George South, Dwight Sutherland, has charged that out of a total fleet of 294 units, the Transport Board can only place 210 on the road at any time.
Sutherland levelled this charge at the Transport Board yesterday while speaking on the 2013/2014 Budget in the House of Assembly.
Referring to the $15 million cut in the allocation to the Transport Board, Sutherland queried whether there was a hidden agenda to raise bus fares.
Sutherland suggested that a cut of $15 million in the allocation to the Transport Board could result in the lack of funds to effect repairs to the fleet.
The rural MP told fellow parliamentarians that since the Democratic Labour Party assumed office in 2008, it had not bought any new buses. Sutherland, who is the Shadow Minister of the Ministry of Transport and Works, argued that Barbados cannot increase productivity if commuters can only get a bus every three or four hours.
Earlier, Sutherland reported that Barbados had proven oil reserves of approximately 2.9 million barrels or ten years’ supply, along with large reserves of natural gas, which were not being exploited.
He pointed out that last year Barbados produced 760 barrels of crude oil daily, which was shipped to Trinidad and Tobago to be refined and later sold to local households at world market prices.
Sutherland argued that if the island increased the level of production to 1,300 barrels a day, the cost of electricity to householders could be drastically reduced.
While lending his support to Government’s plans for the creation of a green economy, Sutherland said that at this stage renewable energy could not satisfy the energy needs of the island.
He maintained that with 2.9 million barrels of crude oil in the ground, Barbados had the potential to lower the cost of electricity to consumers and suggested that government extend on- and off-shore drilling. (NC)