The Alliance Owners of Public Transport (AOPT) says it’s willing to help ease the transportation woes of St Andrew residents but operators will need permits to do so.
Chairman Roy Raphael said the organisation is waiting to meet with transport authorities on making that a reality.
“We have one of two persons who were transferred from St Andrew who would be willing to return to St Andrew, particularly on the Shorey Village route. We have two or three vehicles standing by to assist, but this will require permits to operate,” he told Barbados TODAY.
“We are awaiting a meeting with the Transport Authority in order for us to go forward. So we want the people in St Andrew know that we cannot assist without the permission of the regulator. Until that meeting comes off with the Transport Authority, we will not be in a position to offer our assistance.”
Raphael said his organisation has already reached out to the Transport Authority and the Transport Board expressing a desire to help.
“We would have also indicated to the parliamentary representative for St Andrew Dr Rommell Springer that there were a number of residents of St Andrew – not only St Andrew – who could not get home and we wanted to offer assistance to them,” he stated.
Top officials of the Transport Authority and the Transport Board were unavailable for comment on the AOPT’s offer.
During a St Andrew Speaks town hall meeting late last month, residents expressed frustration with shoddy bus service and demanded an urgent fix.
Outspoken White Hill community resident Carlitha Andrews and others in the parish complained about the late arrival or lack of Transport Board buses plying the St Andrew routes.
“Why are St Andrew people being treated like this by the Transport Board?” asked Andrews.
After hearing the community’s cries, Prime Minister Mia Mottley and other government officials gave the assurance that their concerns would be addressed.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Transport Santia Bradshaw said she was aware of the inconsistencies and acknowledged that in addition to scheduling of buses, the number of buses remained a challenge.
However, Andrews dismissed the suggestion that the number of buses was a problem, charging that some routes were being given preference. (EJ)