In a move to ensure that its members do not fall prey to physical attacks and robberies, one of the umbrella bodies representing public service vehicle (PSVs) operators in Barbados says it is looking into the possibility of establishing a command centre and equipping all PSVs with cameras and other monitoring devices.
Chairman of the Alliance Owners of Public Transport, Roy Raphael, said the association also intends to work more closely with police in a bid to crack down on any illegal activity aboard PSVs, as well as to put the brakes on any rowdy behaviour.
“The police will respond if they get any issues on the bus, like fights. If a fella [PSV operator] goes in a certain district he may be afraid to come back down because of gang activities.
“We will be able to monitor them on screens and for the owners we will be able to monitor the number of people entering and leaving the vehicles,” Raphael said.
The PSV spokesman said the proposed monitoring centre would also support the integration of the island’s transportation services, allowing for closer cooperation between public and private sector operators in the future.
He reported that while physical attacks on PSV operators were not as frequent as they was years ago, the issue was still a major one, which had forced some operators to end their shifts as early as 6 p.m. on problematic routes.
“As owners we really sympathize with the drivers because safety and not taking risks is very important. I believe for their own safety, the drivers would want to come off any time after six or seven o’clock.
“The guys feel really unsafe on particular routes and through the centre, they will be able to press a particular button and the command centre will alert the police and they will respond accordingly,” he said.
There are currently over 350 minibuses and about 355 ZR vans working on the island’s roads.