Video: BIU President On Beach Minibus Service

August 13, 2014

After raising his initial concerns about the new beach shuttle service, BIU President Chris Furbert recently sat down to expand on those concerns, and speak on general transportation issues.

After speaking about the garbage collection delays at a press conference yesterday, Mr. Furbert said: “The second issue that I want to address is the issue concerning the minibus service that has been an agreement between the Minister of Tourism and Transport, the Honourable Shawn Crockwell, and WEDCo.

“The reason I’m phrasing it like that is because the BIU, as being one of the social partners, was never even involved in the process.

“I have sent the Minister my concerns about what has transpired, that they have seen fit to go ahead and eliminate the buses from providing the beach service without the involvement of the BIU. We haven’t even been at the table, so naturally enough, we’re very concerned.

“But I think equally concerning, what should be disturbing to the country, is that the Minister has put out a press release basically saying that what has been said by most people is that – well, let me just quote exactly what he said.”

11-minute video of Mr Furbert’s statement on the beach minibus service:

“He went on to say some things, then he said, ‘We recognize that there have been some delays this week with the introduction of a new minibus schedule service, I must stress that the delays were not excessive, as reported.’

“Now, most of you were probably at Dockyard, you would have seen the long lines, you would have heard people calling into talk shows to complain that they were waiting for a bus to get back to Dockyard, or to leave Dockyard for two to three hours.

“Now, I don’t know what the Minister considers excessive, but I can tell you any time you have to wait for public transportation for over two hours….that’s excessive.

“So, we are very concerned about this situation because I heard Mr. Ray Charlton, who is the chairman of WEDCo, call the Everest DaCosta show and explain that there are probably going to be some minor hiccups in working out this new system, and all they’ve done is actually taken the minibuses and replaced the seats that the buses used to be able to provide…..so if the buses were providing 300 seats, now the minibuses are providing the same 300 seats, so what’s the problem?

“The problem is that when the buses were providing those 300 seats, they were shorter seats. So the thing to do was add onto the 300 seats, not make the same amount or take away…”

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  1. Tourism And Transport Minister Visits Dockyard | Bernews.com | August 13, 2014
  1. LiarLiar says:

    Can’t any Government get our transportation infrastructure/services right for these mega ships?

    • sonso says:

      Nope, because that mega pier should not have been built in the first place!

      • Bermuda man says:

        Right, so lets not build the pier and have no mega ship be able to dock to Bermuda. That would mean we would get no small Cruises and no mega cruises, leaving us to depend on air arrivals for tourist only or would you rather Bermuda spend 5 times as much to dredge a channel into Hamilton or St. Georges??

        • LiarLiar says:

          Agreed.

          Unfortunately due to our poor tourism product offerings these behemoths are a necessary evil at this point in time.

      • frank says:

        if that pier had not be built those ships and that money would not have been able to come here
        the bus needed to stay and the mini buses should be used as extra transport simple

    • Garrus says:

      Things were working well this year–until Wedco wanted a bigger piece of the pie and then thought, “why not take de whole damn thing?”

    • Karma says:

      Nope…as long as the BIU exists…

  2. JH says:

    If the buses hadn’t been pulled out so many times last year by the BIU, there would be no need for mini buses.

    Take some responsibility and you might retain an ounce of credibility.

    • Tested says:

      JH – exactly what I thought.

      We all believe – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. However, with all the bus problems and BIU wildcat strikes that left tourists stranded in previous years – the Public Transport System is not reliable and is therefore broke.

      After the BIU wrongfully in my opinion (and successfully) defended a Ferry Pilot and bus drivers that had accidents and were found to be under the influence – the BIU and the PTB workers lost the respect of many, many, many people. The same can be said about how a certain few VERY RUDE bus drivers continue to be protected.

      Mr. Furbert, you and the PTB drivers created this mess, and others are taking advantage of the opportunities and weaknesses in the market Right or wrong – that’s how businesses evolve and new ones are born.

      A long time ago people used Horse drawn Carriages and Rowboats, then Taxis and Ferries, and then Buses and Fast Ferries. If there is a void in the marketplace these Wedco Mini Buses will fill it. If the mini bus drivers get it right and provide a pleasurable and efficient experience they will improve and expand. Maybe instead of complaining and defending, you should encourage drivers to be sober, courteous and accommodating. Then maybe people might actually start to respect you and the BIU like they did when Bro Ottiwell ran things. he was firm – but fair, not always loved – but always respected.

  3. The P.L.P. started bringing in ships that are far too large for our channels that lead into our former Ports of Call and now we, (Bermuda) has this problem that even “Lance Hayward could have seen coming”. So what do we do is the multi-million dollar question and no one seems to have an answer…yet :-( Sad, but true. Here’s some advice,”bank in U.S.A. dollars”

    • LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL says:

      Normally you post intelligent stuff, but your comment above shows lack of clarity. Larger cruise ships are the way things are going my friend. Have a look in the world news and not just the Bermuda news. The smaller cruise ships are starting to be less traveled and their numbers are also decreasing.

    • Evie says:

      Mr. Ray that was the stupidest reply to date the Mega ships are the way the world is going we all know you want everything to be the fault of the former government but don’t be blind deaf and stupid Hahahahaha in your narrow view SMDH

    • Tested says:

      Ray, I often agree with you, but not today. No government gets to “pick” what size cruise ships come here. The cruise companies have a fleet of ships, and they are all getting much bigger while the older ships are being phased out. Unfortunately, these Megaships draw to much water an can not get by two rock passage safely. If we didn’t step up and accommodate the ships, they just go places where they can be accommodated.

    • X man says:

      Not a good comment Ray’ – but everybody has a bad moment – generally you have some fairly good things to say but this one takes the cake!
      You know and I know that we need these Mega Cruise Ships in order to survive.
      Its so simple – the more Visitors a Ship can carry to our shores the more beneficial to Bermuda. –geesh even the PLP
      knew that!

  4. For real says:

    I must say Chriis Furbert must understand that this change allows the mini buses to take over the transport of people to and from the beach and allow are buses to be used for public transport and this will benefit the private and public sectors

  5. Dirk Gentley says:

    Come on, Mr. Furbert, why can’t someone else have a chance to strand tourists at the Dockyards and provide inefficient transportation services? PTB has had the monopoly on inconveniencing cruise ship passengers for years.

  6. Biu ripping the public off! says:

    Chris why don’t you tell the public about all those $95 per hr on Sundays this new system is saving them? Nice work if you can get it!

    • Varied is good says:

      aha – so the claim is PTB is losing out on charter bus service revenue here? Interesting angle there, could explain the vested interest… although doesn’t explain why bus operators weren’t part of the initial discussions

      • Tested says:

        They were part of discussions even with the previous government. Remember, the PLP forgave the BUI for monies owed monies owed, and the BIU agreed to stop the wildcat strikes to ensure we had a reliable PUBLIC transportation system. Mr. BIU called a island wind emergency meeting and marches over Kentucky Fried Chicken. All that needed to happen was the KFC employees could have striked and been just as effective.

        Why keep talking with those you can’t rely on?

        • PBanks says:

          Probably… but *somebody* should try to be ‘the bigger man’ in any case

  7. Why doesnt Chris just drive one of the buses and be part of the solution and not whine constantly about the problem! Get up off your butt and move us forward – anyone can look back – you are an expert at doing that!

    Public buses are for us – the Bermudian public at large – and we need to cater to our visitors with better than Public services and not have them subject to stupid people like Chris who want to strike while we are in season or randomly whenever it has media attention!

    They pay to come here – they are our guests – they pay your bills act accordingly Chris!

  8. bluebird says:

    The Goverment is the “PROBLEM” and not the “SOLUTION”
    From the Bahamas to Barbados there is not one Goverment run Bus Service or Ferry Service,in the Caribbean.
    You can get around easily and without any trouble.
    Do the bus driver still get (14) WEEKS SICK LEAVE every year ???
    And they take it.

    • Varied is good says:

      I think you were called out on this misinformation a while ago (there are Govt-run buses in the Caribbean) but youve kept the same argument, why is this? Take that statement out and your argument would have more credibility.

  9. Movement of Jah People says:

    The OBA are making sure taxi drivers and minibus drivers/owners get a piece of the pie.Well done!

    • Varied is good says:

      wait, taxi drivers and minibus owners have been getting a ‘piece of the pie’ before this new system was in place. Only difference now appears to be that Wedco is now getting a cut of the action (not to mention the debacle of long waits previously)

  10. Kangoocar says:

    I almost sprayed my cocktail all over my iPad!!! Furby says ” anytime you have to wait for public transport for over 2 hours, Now that is excessive” he must be suffering from amnesia today??? How many frickin times has he called out the transportation workers for meetings of nonsense over the years???? ALOT’ is the answer”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He seems to have no problem with disrupting locals and visitors when he wants too??? HMMMM!!!!!!!!

    • PBanks says:

      It is a bit rich coming from him, but the statement is still true.

  11. Mumbojumbo says:

    Take the drole out …put the excitement and wonder back in…..at the same time traverse the ocean in safety……..all we lack is design!How many summersables have difficulty with weather????