The Transport Board is to be restructured!
This latest indication of the future of the statutory body
from Minister of Transport and Works Michael Lashley, who
is of the firm view that this critical body cannot operate in the
same way it has before, in light of the current challenges the
country and the economy are now facing.
“We have to integrate the private transportation with
the public transport. It is too costly in terms of the expenses
and we are looking at bringing efficiencies to the [Transport]
Board. That is part of the restructuring programme . . . to bring
a level of profitability to the Transport Board.
“We are looking at new routes. We are looking at engaging
the Transport Board and the Transport Authority to work
together as one. We have two committees in place that
should be reporting back to us within a week’s time with that
restructuring plan. Once we look at it internally, we will send it
up to Cabinet for Cabinet’s approval,” he said, as he suggested
that a new method of integrating private and public transport
“Once we integrate [the two of them] it means that we
have to look at how are we going to control the private
transport, in terms of servicing the public; and, of course,
that will mean having to look at regulations. If that means
amending the existing legislation to have tighter controls and
tighter regulations so that the travelling public will not be
disadvantaged, that will be done . . . .
“But, there must be a mixed approach with private transport
and public transport, but still maintaining that social [element]
. . . . We have an interest to protect we have the travelling
public to protect; and public transport will be there to satisfy
the needs of the travelling public,” Lashley stated as he noted
there were some routes which needed serious rationalization.
“You have a bus going to some routes with one person in
it. That is a cost in terms of fuel. That is maintenance. We have
to look at ways and means of how we are going to schedule
transportation; and the other thing that we will have to look
at is: are we going to continue to buy these big buses when
we can utilize some smaller [ones]? All of those things we are
looking at . . . . We have to bring about efficiencies to
“Where there is evidence of wastage, it will be stopped.
Where there is evidence of inefficiency, it will be stopped . . . .
You are running buses sometimes on routes that are serviced
by ten and 15 ZR vans, and when you look at the Transport
Board bus only one person is sitting in it? I have a problem
with that,” the minister told journalists this morning. (RG)
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