A call is being made for some bus routes in Barbados to be axed.
Chairman of the Alliance Owners of Public Transport (AOPT) Roy Raphael said it was time that Government did a feasibility study to determine what routes should be discontinued and which ones could be joined or extended.
He explained that this would make better financial sense for both the Transport Board and privately-owned public service vehicle (PSV) operators given that some routes were unprofitable.
“There are some routes that are Transport Board routes and there are some routes that are minibus routes. I believe the Transport Board and the Transport Authority need to revisit some of these routes because as far as we are concerned these routes are not profitable. They are a waste of time,” said Raphael.
“We are asking that the whole question of routing in Barbados be reviewed, there are some routes that do not make sense, and some routes need extension for example, the 3D route,” said Raphael.
The 3D ZR vans run the Constitution River Terminal to Fairy Valley, Christ Church route.
“It does not make sense it goes into Fairy Valley when you can use a Silver Sands [van] for that. We are seeking to have an extension for the 3D route,” he explained.
He also singled out the Grazettes (#4 bus route) and the Bush Hall (#6 route) that could do with some tweaking.
Describing the Eden Lodge route as a “dead” one, Raphael said “You can operate an Eden Lodge Transport Board bus because that is a social cause, but having an Eden Lodge bus running with nobody on it to me does not make any sense.
“The Transport Board and the Transport Authority need to sit down and look at some route rationalization exercise that will help the Transport Board and us generally as an association, to capitalise on some of these new routes. Some of those routes that are not valuable or profitable, take them off the books,” he insisted.
Raphael also again issued a public appeal to authorities to come to the aid of PSV operators who ply their trade from the Constitution River Terminal but are allowed to use a temporary bus stop just outside the Cheapside Bus Terminal, which is a stone’s throw away.
Raphael complained that some police officers were still ticketing ZR and minibus operators who utilise the temporary bus stop to pick up and let off passengers after 7 p.m.
The bus stop was placed at the location in 2019 to allow PSV operators to load passengers there instead of those passengers having to walk to the nearby Constitution River Terminal for safety and security reasons.
However, Raphael said the situation has now become a “vexing” one, pointing out that AOPT members were complaining of being ticketed.
“This is something that has been happening for a while,” said Raphael.
He said he wanted authorities to revisit a proposal he put forward years ago for the bus operators to utilise the Probyn Street area, opposite to the location of the proposed Golden Square Freedom Park.
“Or they can create a special shuttle that leads from one terminal to the other or allow the Transport Authority to permit those persons who operate from the [Constitution River] Terminal to go to the Fairchild Street or vice versa, so that the fellows operating out of Constitution River Terminal can drop off people in the Fairchild Street after 6 o’clock,” he said.
“If this matter is not resolved this organisation is going to have a meeting and we are going to decide what will be our next course of action. It is clearly unfair to see that you are asking the operators to work after six in the terminal and nobody goes in there after 7 p.m.,” said Raphael, who declined to say what the “next course of action” could be.
He could not say how many drivers had been reported since the temporary bus stop was set up.