The Transport Authority’s time limits on public service vehicles loading passengers at the Constitution River Terminal (CRT) are to remain for the next two months so the authority can test the restrictions, Barbados TODAY has learned.
The bus regulator’s official position was revealed in a letter to PSV owners, a copy of which was obtained by Barbados TODAY. It said the current restrictions are to continue over a two-month “trial period”. PSVs have five minutes to load passengers in peak hours and ten minutes during off-peak times.
The authority gave an assurance that data would be collected during the trial and a report would be prepared and made available to PSV permit holders on its findings and recommendations.
The letter which was signed by Director Maria Boyce read: “The Transport Authority will conduct a study of the vehicles which use the CRT in order to determine the number of vehicles using the terminal, the routes serviced and the length of time each vehicle spends in the terminal,”
“The Transport Authority will analyse the information obtained from the aforementioned study and report to the permit holders on its findings and recommendations based on this empirical data.
“The Transport Authority, therefore, requests your cooperation during the period of time in which this study is conducted and looks forward to reporting its findings within a two-month period.”
Back in September, irate PSV operators staged a protest following the Transport Authority’s decision to restrict their loading times in the CRT’s bays to just five minutes.
A few days later, the authority’s chairman Ian Estwick said a decision had been taken to extend the loading time to ten minutes during off-peak hours, 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.
He pointed out that the five-minute rule during peak hours of 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. would remain.
A meeting was later held involving the regulator and the Alliance Owners of Public Transport (AOPT) and the Association of Public Transport Operators (APTO).
During that meeting, several recommendations were put forward by the two PSV bodies and the authority’s director promised they would be taken before its board for consideration.
In a letter dated October 31 and circulated to some owners, the authority acknowledged those recommendations had been reviewed.
It said: “The Transport Authority has received a number of complaints from operators of vehicles based at the CRT, as well as from commuters who utilise their services.
“Some operators have been very vocal in their opposition to a limit for waiting times in the loading bays and a number have expressed the view that the vehicle should be allowed to remain at the boarding gate until a ‘load’ of passengers has boarded the vehicle. Others have acknowledged that given that an unspecified wait time is neither a feasible nor a fair arrangement, the time allocated to each vehicle should be increased.
“The management of the Transport Authority consulted with the two PSV associations APTO and AOPT, as well as the wider body of permit holders who operate from the CRT in order to hear their concerns and suggestions for improvements. Their recommendations were reported to the Board.”
APTO’s chairman Kenny Best told Barbados TODAY he was unaware of any correspondence and therefore could not comment. Public relations officer for AOPT Mark Haynes said while it had been brought to his attention he had not yet had a chance to peruse it and would comment at a later date. [email protected]
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