The Transport Board has decided to keep its service to commuters going, offering shuttles for essential workers during the public health emergency.
The public bus company today responded to comments on the Voice of Barbados “Brass Tacks” programme from listeners who spoke of seeing buses on the road with only one or two passengers since the start of the national 24-hour curfew over the weekend.
General Manager of the Transport Board, Fabian Wharton, said: “We had to ensure we put transport in place for all of our essential services workers, such as people at the District Hospitals, the Geriatric Hospital, the Psychiatric Hospital and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital before we even began to consider terminating the bus service.
“Right now, we are in a position where we are almost through discussing transporting these workers with the Ministry of Health.”
The Transport Board reversed its decision to end regular scheduled services come Thursday, the deadline for senior citizens to collect their pensions from post offices around the island.
Wharton said: “We decided to keep the service going because there are people that will still rely on public transport to meet their day-to-day needs”.
But Wharton expressed concern that some people, especially the elderly, were using the public buses for “joyriding”.
He said: “Personally I saw about seven old women at the Princess Alice Terminal at Cheapside, and I asked the supervisors if they had seen anyone else. The supervisors informed me that the ladies told them they were bored and just came to town.
“We are pleading with people who have older relatives to try to keep them at home and try to help us manage. We cannot have a situation where essential workers cannot get to their jobs because buses are unavailable.
“We are concerned about people joyriding, using our service for non-essential travel, and we would ask the public to desist from doing that. We have made the decision to keep the bus service open for now; we will inform the public of any further changes when necessary.”
Read our ePaper. Fast. Factual. Free.
Sign up and stay up to date with Barbados' FREE latest news.