Public service vehicle (PSV) operators who operate from Fairchild Street after hours are threatening to withdraw their services after 7 p.m. if they continue to be reported by police officers for using a bus stop placed there for their convenience.
The bus stop was erected back in May to allow PSV’s to operate from Fairchild Street between the hours of 7:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.
The step was taken to accommodate commuters who do not venture to the Constitution River Terminal (CRT) once it becomes dark because of safety concerns.
According to a source, the bus stop was ordered to be placed there by Prime Minister Mia Mottley to facilitate the PSVs.
However, PSV operators have been complaining that more than six months after the bus stop’s placement, they are still being targeted by police.
One PSV owner told Barbados TODAY he had stopped working after 7 p.m. because of the situation.
He said he would only return to work at nights if the situation was rectified.
“The bus stop was placed there so PSVs would be able to operate from Fairchild Street and so commuters would have a safe place to access the vans because they don’t feel comfortable walking to the CRT when it gets late,” the veteran owner said.
“So if the bus stop was installed for us to work there why are we still getting reported? Why are the police still running behind us when all we are doing is looking to earn a honest living?”
A PSV operator said he too was considering withdrawing his services.
He said it was not beneficial to him if the money he earned working late had to be paid in fines before the court.
“There aren’t enough Transport Board buses to properly service all of the routes and it gets even worse at night. All we are trying to do is to provide a service and help commuters get home safely,” he said.
“If the PSVs who operate from the CRT decide not to work at night it will leave a lot of commuters stranded. It makes sense for everybody to be on the same page.”
Additionally, he queried why they were encountering so many issues if the instruction came from the Prime Minister for the bus stop to be erected.
Another PSV owner said he had been reported twice within the past two weeks for loading at the bus stop.
He said his attempts to give an explanation to the police officer had proved futile.
“I keep trying to tell the officers that we are authorized to be at the bus stop, but they are saying that there has been no official notification from the Ministry as to the use of the bus stop.
“So PSVs are still getting reported on a nightly basis for doing absolutely nothing wrong,” he contended.
Efforts to reach chairman of the Transport Authority Ian Estwick and chairman of the Association of Public Transport Operators (APTO) Kenny Best proved futile.
Communications and marketing officer of the Alliance Owners of Public Transport (AOPT) Mark Haynes told Barbados TODAY he would first have to contact the chief technical officer before he could give a comment.
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