Photos & Video: Lines Form At Horseshoe Bay

August 7, 2014

Following the transportation issues experienced by visitors to the island, Shadow Minister of Transport Lawrence Scott said that Transport Minister Shawn Crockwell previously “declared categorically that once those tourists who choose to visit Bermuda by cruise ship set foot in Dockyard, they would experience little or no waiting time – because he was the one with all the answers.”

Mr. Scott added, “However, the reality between Minister Crockwell’s promise to Bermuda and the cruise industry of little waiting time, and the reality of the actual service, is a delay of two to three hours for passengers being delivered to the beach and again for them to be picked up and returned to Dockyard.

“Although they may have had a vested interest, last year, prior to Minister Crockwell unveiling his ‘assembly line’ transportation plan, members of the Taxi Industry warned the Minister against moving forward with his plan because in their view it represented a ‘band-aid’ solution.

Slideshow of lines formed at Horseshoe Bay yesterday afternoon:

Mr. Scott has called upon Minister Crockwell to “publicly confirm or deny reports that the cruise ships, with the full knowledge of the OBA Government, are briefing and encouraging their passengers to take the public buses instead of the taxis and/or mini buses and as a result bus tickets and passes are being sold on board the cruise ships prior to them docking up at the West End.

“If it is determined that the Minister is not prepared to confirm or deny this report and there exist passengers who will/have confirmed this marketing practice to be so, then it would appear that Minister Crockwell could be judged to be a victim of his own success as he has successfully scared all the customers away from the taxis and on to the buses, and does not have enough of a supply of buses to accommodate the demand for them,” Mr. Scott added.

“It is time for the Minister to be honest with the people of Bermuda,” added Mr. Scott.

Video showing the transportation issues at Horseshoe yesterday afternoon:

Speaking on the matter in an email, President of the Bus Operators & Allied Workers Divisions Kathy Landy, said, “On behalf of the Bus Operators & Allied workers, we would like to bring to your attention some concerns regarding WEDCO’s decision to eliminate the bus shuttle service from the GTA area.

“Monday, August 4, the operators noted extra long lines of tourists at the ticket booth as they had chosen to purchase a bus pass for $25 for two days as opposed to a voucher that could be purchased for $16 for a round trip to Horseshoe Bay Beach.

“Operators leaving the Maritime Museum encountered long lines of tourists, having to leave with a full bus from that first stop. WEDCO Management did not consider the choices of visitors, thus the locals are being deprived of transportation to Hamilton for hours.”

“Some have traveled to the Dockyard on the bus to catch a bus or Ferry to Hamilton. Operators reaching Horseshoe Bay via Hamilton were bombarded with tourists seeking to travel to the Ferry Terminal to get back to their ship in Dockyard.

“The Breakaway and the Summit arrive on August 6, carrying more than 5,666 passengers who cannot be be serviced by the mini van buses alone.

“August 4 proved that there was a shortage of transportation for tourist & locals. WEDCO needs the assistance of the buses to transport the cruise ship passengers to the beach.”

- All footage courtesy of Jason Smith

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Articles that link to this one:

  1. Minister Crockwell Responds: Transport Issues | Bernews.com | August 8, 2014
  1. “An oz. of prevention is worth a lb. of cure” Govt. and W.E.D.C.O knew well in advance there will be countless visitors in Dockyard wanting to get to the beach,(or any place for that matter) therefore they should have devised a system last year or in the off season and not during the season to deal with the influx of tourist :-(
    Bad management and whoever is in charge should be looking for a new job, one preferably not in tourism!

    • Kunta says:

      Funny, when P.L.P was in power it was de Minister’s FAULT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Classic example of de Two Bermuda’s !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Ian Hunter says:

    Is it that Bermuda is a third world island and just can’t get the transportation of tourists done right OR are the PLP, OBA, BIU, Taxi drivers and private mini bus services just playing silly power grabbing games?
    Whatever it is, Bermuda’s tourism product is doomed.

    • Kunta says:

      Why you dragging every body through de mud…….
      You mean O.B.A/ubp and de Minister!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. watching says:

    When there were transportation issues a few years ago the OBA placed all the blame at the feet of then Transport Minister Terry Lister and the PLP government. Now we see continued delays (if not worse).
    Something is wrong with the process and it needs to be revamped. This is embarrassing and ridiculous.
    what is the Wedco and the OBA going to do about it? Where is Shawn Crockwell?

    • Blaque says:

      Im glad someone else said it… Truth is… this problem is something that only gets attention during tourist season and is long forgotten on the off season. OBA have been in power now for the 2nd summers and I am STILL waiting for an acceptable solution to this issue. An issue they had so much gripes about when they were the opposition. Come on… this has been a issue for way too long!

    • Nicole says:

      Hiding

    • Minister Shawm Crockwell,(and the others)you’re all behaving like an ostrich, burying it’s head thinking it can’t be seen while it’s rear end is being exposed. Straighten up “u’lot” or without any doubts the O.B.A. will be a one term Govt. Sad yes, but true :-(

  4. Ms. Poli Tician says:

    Maybe Bill, Shawn and Karla should go stand in the heat (instead of their air-conditioned offices). Once they do that for an hour or so, the problem will be solved. Why do we pay these paper-pushers? I mean, have they ever even used public transportation? There should be a rule – anyone paid to run our tourism product should first have to spend a week here as a tourist. After poor transportation, poor service, shuttered stores, littered streets, vile public restrooms and filthy beaches, they might get around to actually doing something, other than press releases and photo ops.

    • PBanks says:

      Indeed. We haven’t had a Min. Trans or Tourism Head experience public trans and get a feel of the issues regular riders go through in years.

  5. aceboy says:

    Yesterday there was an article that had the BIU was concerned about the effects on shuttle buses on their drivers.

    http://bernews.com/2014/08/biu-responds-to-beach-shuttle-concerns/

    Which is it? Do we want tourists to be transported efficiently to and from Dockyard or not?

  6. pebblebeach says:

    This is totally unacceptable and an embarrassment on all fronts.

    Whoever is responsible for providing transportation for our tourist to and from their cruise ships to the beaches best get their darn act together.

    When are we as a country going to come together for the betterment of Bermuda.

    SMFH…

    • No Voice says:

      Sad for our paying tourist – too bad they can’t hire a jet eh?

  7. JH says:

    I would have expected mass confusion like this under the self serving PLP government, but under OBA I expected more.

    We know ahead of time how many people there will be, and where they are likely to want to go.

    This is like a restaurant forgetting to buy food and then opening for lunch.

    • Coffee says:

      You expected to friggin much ! Self serving you say ? Check out why Cannonier resigned in disgrace !

  8. College weeks says:

    Crockwell should resign.

  9. More people same infrastructure.

  10. micro says:

    Good to see we’re still offering a sub par tourism product for a premium price…

    Wonder what the feasibility would be to set up some sort of transportation hub along middle road where passengers can be dropped off by boat to waiting buses. I’d imagine that would greatly decrease transport times and increase efficiency.

  11. Go Gombey!! says:

    This is nothing new, happens each and every year. Where are all the public buses that acted as shuttle buses to and from Horseshoe Bay? Fill them to capacity and leave the regular public buses for the regular public! I have seen many times the special buses with only seats taken but the regular buses people are packed like sardines. Dont let the regular buses leave Dockyard with only standing room and all bus drivers should make sure that the children give up their seats for paying customers, male and female. The tourist get irate as well because we all know they are coming in droves and transportation should be sorted out before they arrive. Most people are fine with waiting for a few minutes but not hours! Get it together!!!

  12. enough says:

    Let’s get everyone working together for the better of Bermuda. Shuttle buses can do their own thing and arranage with the cruise lines, just like other tour operators do and Government can have the buses doing what they have been doing since the beginning of the season. Which seemed to be working well. Don’t try to fix something that isn’t broken. There is no way the privately owned shuttle buses can cater to all these people on their own, anyone with an ounce of common sense can see that. Please get it together all of you bewfore it is tooooo late.

  13. Chris Famous says:

    Ray Charlton has something to do with this

    • Ian Hunter says:

      You want the OBA Government to fail just like the BIU and PLP and you don’t care how it happens. If the Cruise Ship business and the rest of tourism is dragged down to do it, you really wouldn’t bother you as long as they get back into power.
      What this Island needs is to have people that will work together to make Bermuda a wonderful place to live and work.

  14. nomoremoney says:

    and so did the buses leave the island? Tell me they couldn’t pick up slack for a couple of days to help get it all ironed out. This was a set up.

  15. somuchless says:

    I coulda told you that this wouldn’t work. Too many people for too little mini buses.

    Get the ‘special’ public buses back on the route today.

  16. Ms. Poli Tician says:

    As an opinion columnist/journalist, wouldn’t you want to further explain your statement?

  17. somuchless says:

    I wanna see Dias, Crockwell, Hanbury out there apologing to the tourist they affected. No wait would they ever?????

    • PBanks says:

      You’d have to trick them by telling them it’s a ribbon-cutting ceremony or something.

  18. somuchless says:

    Mr. Scott, Do you wana to score points? If so go out to Dockyard tomorrow go ahead and if there are any issues you can apologize to the tourist and let them know that you’re limited as the opposition but would like to give your apologizes (since the others don’t care).

  19. Who cares about cruise ships? says:

    Honestly, the cruise ships bring people in droves but they don’t even spend any money here. They eat and sleep on the ship and take the cheapest method to get to the free beach. We should be concerned about the tourists paying exorbitant prices to actually stay on the island, as well as locals who need to get to work or home. Here’s a solution, stop selling bus tickets to the cruise passengers altogether and make them spend a whole $16 during their stay. That’s better than nothing!

    • PBanks says:

      Point taken about hotel guests contributing more than cruise ship visitors, but still, those guys will spend money at the gift shops, beachside vendors/concessions, etc – so giving them a good experience still helps Bermudians as a whole.

  20. Triangle Drifter says:

    At the very least do the honourable thing & refund all passes in compensation for inconvenience caused.

    There are many responsible for this mess.

  21. Coffee says:

    Who the hack is in charge around here ? If nobodies in charge then let the Bermudian people know . If Hanbury is in charge then let him go ! If Crockwell is in charge then it’s Dunkley and Bob the snobs fault for not MAKING HIM RESIGN ! The tourist are suffering from ineffective leadership on the OBAs watch ! Where is the outrage !