Residents of Edey Village, Christ Church can look forward to “reliable, dependable and safe service” from December 1, when the Barbados Transport Authority launches the Transport Authority Service Integration (TASI) pilot project.
Addressing a public meeting at the St. David’s Anglian Church, Transport Board Director Alex Linton told the audience: “there are some deficiencies in the current system to this route by Transport Board and we are trying to correct those by enhancing the service provision in this area.”
The six-month project will be also applied to the Sturges, St. Thomas and Martins Bay, St. John routes.
Under the TASI project, the services of publicly operated and privately owned transportation will be integrated under one entity.
However Linton stressed that the project will only deal with the services provided, and has “nothing to do with their ownership or capitalisation”.
Linton noted that with 20 percent of Barbadians relying on public transportation, the island was well below the international standard of 95 percent reliability.
“Customers are not satisfied…we need to correct that properly. We want to….realise effective coordination and regulation.
“What we are trying to achieve, [is] enhanced reliability, that is the number one problem we have been hearing from people through generations,” Linton explained.
The project will also aid in easing the competition for customers between route taxis, minibuses and the Transport Board buses.
“Instead of having that competitive behaviour with the private operators jumping two to three minutes ahead of a Transport Board bus and going down the road, we now have them scheduled…maybe 10 minutes ahead…he don’t (sic) need to speed or do any of those foolish things to try and get customers, he knows he has a time slot to work under,” Linton said.
He added that the regulations upheld by the Transport Board will also be implemented by the privately owned service vehicles. Those vehicles carrying the TASI logo will follow the standardised stipulated free bus fares for pensioners and school children.
He also stated that drivers and conductors will be trained in customer service and defensive driving.
Coordinator and board member of the Barbados Transport Authority, Junior Jordan added, “the idea is for you, to be totally comfortable once this pilot project is launched bright and early as scheduled December 1st, so have no fear the persons will be trained with you in mind to deliver each and every one of you to your destinations…safely.” (KK)