In the wake of yesterday’s stabbing incident at the Constitution River Terminal, Head of the Association of Public Transport Operators (APTO) Morris Lee is calling on Government to hasten the opening of the new state-of-the-art replacement facility, with 24-hour security.
“One stabbing incident is one too many and there is no place in our sector for this type of behaviour. We need to do everything in our power to ensure that this type of behaviour is stamped out,” said Lee following the 7:45 a.m. bloody incident involving three public service vehicle (PSV) workers.
As a result, one worker was left nursing serious injuries and two others facing criminal charges.
“We need that new terminal building up and running because on the current piece of real estate PSVs can come from any angle and cut in front of another. The new terminal has a concourse where all of the commuters wanting to catch a vehicle are funnelled through one area. Once it is streamlined we can have better control,” the APTO president contended.
In the lead up to the May 24 general election, then Minister of Transport and Works Michael Lashley had declared the terminal open even though the building had no furniture or surveillance equipment installed.
The three-storey building, completed at an estimated cost of $3.2 million, was hailed as the fulfilment of a promise by the former Democratic Labour Party administration, dating back almost five years.
However, three months after the Barbados Labour Party came to power, no indication has been given as to when the facility would be operational, with Lee warning today that the longer Government tarries on this project, the longer the public is exposed to chaos.
“That terminal has been hit with so many delays that I have lost track, but, in the meantime, people are at risk of being knocked down [at the current terminal],” Lee said.
He also warned that persons other than commuters were using the terminal “as a place to lime and engage in illegal activities”.
“All these things are putting the travelling public at risk, “ he stressed.
Yesterday’s stabbing incident was by no means an isolated one. Back in March, 23-year-old Kemar Gooding of Ellerton, St George, a conductor and father of two, lost his life when he was stabbed at that same location.
At the time, an eyewitness had told Barbados TODAY the deceased was part of a mob that approached a young man who is employed by the Ministry of Transport and Works at the River Bus Terminal, and began throwing stones in his direction.
Lee is therefore worried that with only sporadic police presence in the van stand, such lawless behaviour will continue to go unchecked. (CM)