Government’s plan to relocate privately-owned public service vehicles to the Speightstown Bus Terminal from nearby streets has hit a legal roadblock, Barbados TODAY has learned.
The relocation. which was to have begun on Monday, was intended to end longrunning scenes of rush hour chaos, the Government had argued.
But the Omnibus Terminal Act only allows for buses of the publicly-owned Transport Board. A spokesman for the Alliance Owners of Public Transport said the association not only wants Government to amend the laws to include ZRs and minibuses but also taxis.
AOPT’s public relations officer Mark Haynes told Barbados TODAY: “I think this move would have been a very good one because it would really keep the guys organised and things would certainly be done more orderly within that area.
“The point in going to the terminal was to ease the road from the traffic congestion and the aim was to bring about some measure of discipline among some of the guys whose behaviour is very questionable.
“I don’t think that all of the guys are uncooperative but there are some who definitely fit the bill and to move them to a more structured setting is a very good idea, as long as things are done fairly.
“We are also calling on the authorities to make provisions at the same location for taxis who ply their trade in that area.
“We want them to include a space for a few taxis because they need to be looked after as well.”
Despite a 75 per cent bus fare increase, private operators have complained that the cost of doing business for PSVs has risen considerably with a fuel tax and a hike in some ancillary charges, has further diminished their profit margin.
The operators argue that the terminal system would result in fewer trips for them as they would be required to wait in line until the buses ahead are fully loaded.
They also said they needed assurances that Transport Board buses would not be given preferential treatment for loading passengers but equality among all users within the queuing system.
But Haynes told Barbados TODAY that he did not share the angst of the operators, noting that while his organisation wanted guarantees of an equitable system at the terminal, being made to wait in line should not eat away at profits.
He said: “I do not know how significant an argument that is.
“I don’t see how a move to the terminal can cut into their profits because commuters would then know that they are now required to go to the terminal, just like how they are required to go to the Constitution River Terminal (CRT).
“Right now, at the CRT there is order there and I think that what obtains at CRT can obtain at Speightstown.
“So, I really don’t see how having some order can cut into their profits.” [email protected]