[Updated] Newly-appointed Transport Minister Walter Roban today [June 21] refuted claims made by Shadow Transport Minister Pat Gordon-Pamplin that there were systemic problems at the Department of Public Transportation [DPT].
Offcials confirmed today there are actually a total of 42 buses out of service, after announcing yesterday that there might be bus service interruptions as 18 buses are out of service waiting for new tires
The delay in receiving 300 bus tires was a result of an error by the shipping company that sent them to Philipsburg, St. Maarten instead of Philadelphia in the United States, the Transport Ministry said.
“The tires were expected in Bermuda on May 25th but had to be rerouted from St. Maarten to Philadelphia and on to Bermuda where they are expected to arrive on July 5th. However, once the problem of the misrouted shipment was discovered an emergency shipment of nearly 100 tires was ordered to resolve the situation,” explained a Ministry spokesperson.
Last night Ms Gordon-Pamplin said: “News that Bermuda’s bus fleet is hobbled by a lack of spare tires raises one more question about the Government’s ability to mind the store.
“Make no mistake, this is not a one-off. Lack of spare parts, whether with ferries, the incinerator or buses, has become a regular feature of Island life. There is, clearly, a systemic problem at work,” said the Shadow Transport Minister.
Minister Roban issued a response this afternoon saying, “We are a government of fairness which is why we are being fully transparent and keeping the Bermuda public and visitors informed about any potential issues to Public Transportation, the Ministry issued a statement advising of possible delays in some bus routes. These delays were caused by a problem with a parts supplier that was in no way the fault of the DPT management and staff.
“I want it to be clear that as of today, Thursday, June 21, this matter has been resolved. This short term challenge was not created by any fault of DPT management or staff but as a result of an error by the supplier. We quickly moved to solve the challenge and a solution to ensure this doesn’t happen again is being put in place.”
Minister Roban added: “This Government will always be open with the public as much as we can if we anticipate problems with service delivery. We are always about solutions and the management and staff of DPT responded quickly once this arose.”
Update 7.22pm: The Director of the Department of Public Transportation [DPT] confirmed that there are presently 42 buses out of service, with 18 awaiting tires and 6 buses being repaired from accidents.
A Transport Ministry spokesperson provided the following, “The total number of out of service naturally fluctuates and is dependent on various factors that include the type of mechanical problem, the physical damage to the vehicle and these factors determine the length of time a bus is out of service. At any time, we can expect 18 – 20 buses out of service routinely for maintenance.
“DPT would like to ensure the travelling public that its remains steadfast in finding solutions to address challenges as they will undoubtedly arise. The provision of service remains our priority and we continue to work with our technical staff, manufacturers and suppliers to have a plan in place to ensure service is provided.
“The peak demand for service is the period between April 1 and June 30th followed by a decrease in demand with school closing for the summer break and during this period more buses become available for service and planned maintenance.”
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