Newly appointed chief executive officer of the Transport Board Fabian Wharton has received the full backing of his former public service vehicle (PSV) colleagues.
In fact, both president of the Public Service Vehicles Workers’ Association (PSVWA) Shawn Best and public relations officer of the Alliance Owners of Public Transport (AOPT) Mark Haynes believe Wharton’s appointment will help foster a better relationship between PSV owners and operators and the state-run entity.
Wharton, who is set to take up the post as CEO from September 1, is the former PSVWA public relations officer and is also the owner of several PSVs.
In an interview with Barbados TODAY this afternoon, Best, who along with Wharton played an integral part in forming the PSVWA earlier this year, said he supported his former colleague in his new endeavor.
“I feel good for him because he will have an insight into both sectors, so I believe he will bring some light to the Transport Board. I believe that over the years so many people have been in the Transport Board who know nothing about transportation. They just drove cars but he [Wharton] was actually working PSVs and he also had some insight on what was going on in the Transport Board so I feel he should be a great help to them,” Best said.
The PSVWA president said there were no hard feelings over Wharton’s decision to work for Government.
“Although it might be two different sectors, if there is anything we can do to assist him to make the transportation sector better in Barbados we are all for it and we have his back 100 per cent. Although he may not be with the PSV association anymore we still have his back 100 per cent,” he maintained.
Meanwhile, in congratulating Wharton, Haynes backed him as the right man for the job.
He said Wharton’s experience in the transport sector would give him a definite advantage.
“We wish him well in his new post. He has been involved in the sector and he knows how things work and we hope that he gets all of the support from his workers and everybody in the field.
“We in AOPT look forward to working with him and we want to have a more collaborative spirit and we don’t want to have any kind of division. We just want the sector to move forward because we think the sector can go a long way,” Haynes noted.
He said Wharton’s presence should also help to “accelerate” some of the items which they brought to the table.
He also called on the new Transport Board chief to form a close alliance with AOPT going forward.
“We hope that he works with us in an effort to turn around the sector. We do not wish for any draconian measures to be put in place. We just think that a lot of it will require discussion with and among persons in the sector.
“It is imperative that he works with AOPT because we play a pivotal role in terms of trying to turn around the industry,” Haynes said.
Efforts to reach public relations officer of the Association of Public Transport Operators (APTO) Ingrid King for comment proved unsuccessful.