The brakes are being put on drivers and conductors of minibuses and route taxis [ZRs] who jump from employer to employer after committing traffic violations of one kind or another.
The owners of the privately-run public service vehicles (PSV) are banding together to put a stop to delinquent operators who are hired by competing employers with no background checks.
Alliance Owners of Public Transport (AOPT) spokesman Mark Haynes told Barbados TODAY that from early next year, a database on each driver and conductor could be used for or against them to determine their eligibility for employment.
“We [will] have a command centre, GPS systems will be on the vehicles, some are on a few of them now, and there will be more. We will be able to collate the information. If one person works for one person and leaves this person and goes to the next . . . we are aware this is a problem, and we are trying to deal with it by setting up a database, and we will have a profile on the workers, so that if you were to leave one employer or whatever happens and you try to go to the next, you would be stopped,” Haynes warned.
He said this measure is one of the ways to curb the existing lawless behaviour among PSV operators.
The Association’s public relations and marketing officer said the proposed system would also allow owners to spot those who are making an effort to amend their ways.
“Those who are not prepared to conform will also just have to ‘ship out,’” Haynes suggested.
The transit alliance is also examining another means of eliminating or significantly reducing the recklessness among PSV operators, he told Barbados TODAY.
He said the owners were still considering a fixed wages system to replace the current commission payment to operators.
“The pay system, I can say to you that is on the cards. That was put to us; it is something we are looking at. One of the issues with it is that it may be too burdensome for some of the owners in terms of having a fixed wage at this time.
Haynes said that some owners are of the view that a fixed wage would stop the hustling.
“It is being discussed, but the final details are not worked out on that particular thing as yet,” he added.
The alliance spokesman then referred to the vexing issue of uniforms.
He warned all PSV operators that come January 2, they would not be allowed to enter the Constitution River Bus Terminal if they are not wearing the approved uniform.
“We the Alliance of Owners of Public Transport remain relentless in our position that the requisite uniforms must be worn come January 2, 2019. All PSV workers are required to and will be encouraged to comply fully with Transport Authority officials and the police. We are also saying that this policy will be strictly enforced and the Alliance fully supports the Transport Authority with this new measure,” Haynes stressed.
He also drew the workers’ attention to the fact that from January 2 the permits of owners will be revoked if drivers or conductors commit more than two infractions of the traffic laws.
“Going forward there are going to be a number of changes coming to amend the Transport Act and persons who are owners going forward will be dealt with and they will be given two chances and on the third, the permit will be withdrawn. So the point is, the Transport Authority will withdraw the permit. The onus is on the owners to ensure they have the persons in their employ do what is correct,” he appealed.