The days of long, frustrating waits for a Government-run bus “will soon be one of the past”, Minister of Transport Michael Lashley has promised.
Speaking this morning from the Fairchild Street bus terminal, Lashley revealed that dozens of previously broken down buses had been repaired and were on the road again, easing the pressure on the Transport Board to provide regular and reliable service.
In addition, he said, even more vehicles were being repaired, giving the board greater flexibility.
“The mechanics, the service providers, and management all worked overtime and because of the mechanics at Mangrove and service providers we were able to get the availability back up, and today there are 132 buses and as a result we’ve been able to service all the schools in the island.
“Things are looking up and we are awaiting parts from overseas and once we receive those parts we will have about 25 more engine buses back on the road,” Lashley said.
With an estimated 80 of what was once a fleet of 250 buses working last month, commuters were forced to wait for several hours to catch a bus.
Acting General Manager of the Transport Board Felicia Sue backed Lashley’s promise, pledging significantly shorter waiting times.
“We have put a plan in place to correct the running effects and to ensure a quicker turnaround time so that we can address the needs of the travelling public,” Sue said.
Both the minister and the transport executive were at the terminal to see off the first school bus, which left promptly at 7 a.m. to the delight of Lashley, who boasted that all routes had been catered for “in a timely fashion”.
However, the minister was concerned about the number of students who were “deliberately liming”, and he called on the truancy officers from the Ministry of Education to begin their patrol of the terminals early to “ensure that these students are on the bus”.