Govt: Staff Shortages Cause Bus Cancellations

February 26, 2015

A number of bus runs around the island have been cancelled today [Feb 26] as a “result of staff shortages,” according to the Department of Public Transportation.

A government spokesperson said, “The Department of Public Transportation would like to advise the public of various cancelled bus runs today, February 26, 2015, as a result of staff shortages. Please see the list below:









HamiltonGrotto Bay

5:45 pm

6:15 pm


Grotto BayHamilton

4:40 pm

6:40 pm


HamiltonOrd Road

5:05 pm


Ord RoadHamilton

5:45 pm


HamiltonGrotto Bay

4:15 pm



5:30 pm


HamiltonSt. David’s

6:15 pm


HamiltonSpanish Point

5:05 pm

5:15 pm


Spanish PointHamilton

5:17 pm

5:27 pm


HamiltonPond Hill

5:50 pm


Pond HillHamilton

6:00 pm


St. George’sSt. David’s

6:50 pm


St. David’sSt. George’s

7:04 pm


Barnes CornerHamilton

5:05 pm



11:00 pm



12:20 pm


HamiltonBarnes Corner

4:25 pm



5:45 pm



5:55 pm


HamiltonSt. George’s

6:15 pm


HamiltonSt George’s

6:00 pm


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Comments (74)

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  1. Mockingjay says:

    Govt. says they don’t have the money to pay them, $77 Million

    • Ed Case says:

      Mockingay: 77 sick days more like. Ha!

      • filobedo21 says:

        In the past until the announcement of no overtime, the person off sick made it lucrative for a driver on his off day to fill in and get that overtime. Poof its all gone now. Too bad they left it this late to get some new hires. Be patient folks, soon come!

        • OK how about says:

          We need a new motivation for workers, money and benefits don’t seem to cut it. They don’t seem happy. What can change that?

          How about :

          Pride in the work they do and the help they bring the community of Bermuda …

          BUS DRIVERS , think about what you do everyday and who you let down whe you don’t turn up…..That old lady with the bad leg who goes to town on Thursday, those school kids going to school, those folks who ride to get to work, that girl who visit her dying grandmother everyday,that person who rides the bus to get around to cleaning jobs to help her grandson get a college education, tourists who have never been on a pink bus before and are excited by the people and the scenery you deliver and those folks who ride the bus because it’s all they have.

          There are so many good things that God give you the chance to make happen. Don’t spit in Gods eyes by letting these people and many more down over principles. You have a chance to leave an indelible mark in someones heart by kindess, a smiling hello and a few thank yous to passengers. feel great about what you do, and stop trying to feel good about what you don’t do.

          Take pride in your work, and you can go home at the end of your working life and feel proud. Do a service, not a diservice. This is not a job, it is a blessing.

          I know some folks will read the above a suck their teeth, but think about it please….isn’t that what you wanted to do , make a difference…this is your chance to make a difference to so many people lives…it’s there in the palms of your hands…..just see it.

    • serengeti says:

      The lazy people are having their 70 days a year sick.
      They’re being paid full pay by the rest of us taxpaying idiots.
      While they sit at home whining about how hard done by they are.

      • frank says:

        How long does it take to train a bus driver ?
        With so many people out of work I am sure some one will take the job
        In fact I don’t, know how some of them even got hired

      • ann says:

        is that truth that they get 70 days a year sick leave? does anyone in the whole rest of the world get that many. I thought standard was 2 weeks!!!

        • serengeti says:

          Yep. Plus they can carry forward up to 30 days of unused sick leave. Plus 33 days vacation.
          If you add it all up, that’s 26 weeks. More than half the year.

    • TonyC says:

      You just live to see Bermuda fail, don’t you? Such a sad individual, colour over country.

      • hmmm says:

        Mockingjay is an extremist. Blind hate without any actual thought of the reality of things or the big picture.

        in Preschool terms:

        Hurt the man = hurts the people of Bermuda, hurt the people of Bermuda = hurts yourself.

        Want to hurt the man = want to hurt yourself.

      • This is the crap we (the public) have to put up with when the Govt. don’t have a private competitor/s… :-( It’s time to privatize this business!

        • By the way, why stop the buses from running when there’s a need for public to have transportation from work to their homes? Come now Mr. Chris Furbert / bus drivers :-(

    • aceboy says:

      They don’t have the money to pay the “double time” “sick time” game that has been going on…no. I am sure you know what I am talking about.


    • Unbelievable says:

      Mockingjay, that $77 million dollar number has already been discredited.

      You don’t even care which lie you perpetuate.

  2. Micro says:

    How do you have staff shortages but say government is overstaffed? Sounds like poor allocation of resources.

    • jt says:

      Work to rule. Mo overtime cramping their style of using sick days and planned overtime with fellow drivers.

    • hmmm says:

      Or the Union needs to go in and tell the workers to stop milking the system.

      Union has a responsibility to encourage the workforce to do a good job…

      Union must be so proud of the work ethic. SMDH

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      They have the staff, they just need them to quit calling out sick so they can try to get their mate some OT. The union leadership knows what goes on, they have no problem with it, so when they proposed an overtime ban, they knew this would happen and now they are trying to go back on there idea and have OT reinstated. Time for employee accountability to be implemented.

      One paid sick day in a three week period, starting from the sick day, anymore in that time period and that day is made back as an on call day at regular time in case of shortage. Only exceptions are for long term disability with proof from government vetted doctor.

    • Damn Rather says:

      @Micro, its a simple game they play. Its not rocket science

      in order to adequately staff the bus service you need “x” amount of drivers to run those routes plus a few extra to assist with things like sick days, vacation , maternity leave , training etc.

      However, the game they play is simple. If we have 70 sick days a year to use up, I call in sick today (along with many others) which forces them to call other drivers in that are off duty and pay them overtime. That way I get paid for my “sick day” and you get overtime” so when I am asked to take a furlough day it does not affect my income!

      Incredibly f’n selfish of these drivers! We are all suffering and most of us have never had the luxury of your wage or benefits.

      I remember the days when bus drivers were ambassadors for Bermuda and were respected and loved by young, old and visitors alike. Except for a few like Sybil (I think that is his name) that try to make every ride a memorable experience, many (not all) of the drivers are just miserable seat warmers!

      Keep playing your stunts, we are learning that you are unreliable and selfish. Don’t complain when more PRIVATE bus services or similar start popping up and you are shut out.

      Enjoy your job and time at the PTB, and hope that you don’t get caught playing your games and get fired. In the real world you are expected to work for a living!!!!!!!

  3. Ed Case says:

    I certainly wish a speedy recovery to all of these sick drivers. It must be a really bad bug since it seems to have hit them all at exactly the same time.

    Quite unusual.

  4. Amazed says:

    This bus cancellation schedule looks more like a “go-slow” from workers to me. Some sort of industrial action. Why would you cancel buses leaving Hamilton during the time people finish work and need to get home? Bizzare

    • inna says:

      Makes traveling by car a hell of lot easier!

    • hmmm says:

      Mind you if people can do without these buses running, then we don’t need as many drivers and the number that are out milking the system can go find work elsewhere.

  5. enough says:

    Of course it is, their way of sayling “Look we are in control”. hey I certainly hope it doesn’t come back to bite them where it hurts. They should try to pull this in the private sector, which I might add may well be who is in charge of the buses down the road one day, won’t be so easy then.

    • aceboy says:

      People would be FIRED in the private sector. Very easy actually.

      • ljbda says:

        For what??

        • Creamy says:

          Lying about being sick? Not doing their jobs? Not being needed? Take your pick.

          No reason they should have any more than 2 weeks a year sick. It’s a scandal.

          That, ladies and gentlemen, is what the PLP wasted our money on, and mortgaged our children for.

        • Damn Rather says:

          For faking being sick! You don’t really believe that all of a sudden all these drivers got sick at the same time! If yes , we need to call the WHO!

          • Hmmm says:

            And close the doors on the operation completely. Sorry folks no buses anymore.

            Oh well. The market will find a way to cater for any public need.

  6. just wondering says:

    why don’t we have a detailed list of who is “sick” – who is on “extended medical leave” and who is off for “other reasons” (and say what they are) its amazing that in a recession/depression we are paying for people NOT to do their jobs

  7. hmmm says:

    Perhaps we can have someone go video alleged sick folks with back injuries lifting things etc, like the insurance companies in other places do. Then they can be fired for gross misconduct. Effectively stealing from the government and the people of Bermuda, by claiming sick leave when they are not sick.

    Where people are genuinely sick I wish you a speedy recovery. Genuine sickness long term is a horrible experience, so I send you my thoughts.

    • Creamy says:

      There was a guy off “sick” from his bus job a few years ago, who was working as a contractor at the PTB garage.
      The union jumped to his defence, of course. Nothing happened to him. Of course.
      That is why we are billions in debt. Money wasted on lazy malingerers.

      • Family Man says:

        And it wasn’t even the first time he’d been caught doing it either.

  8. Terry says:

    This must be costing millions in health care alone.
    Reply to that.

  9. D says:

    America’s cup has all the money….

    • hmmm says:

      That is such a naive and brainwashed comment. Be better than that.

  10. swing voter says:

    solution….cease all of the small routes and work with the mini-buses to get passengers out to St. Davids, Ord Road, etc. Less routes, less drivers needed to cover ‘sick-outs’

    • Creamy says:

      Cancel routes. Fire drivers. Save the money. See how popular the unions are then.

      • Family Man says:

        Replace the ‘sick’ bus drivers with out of work truck drivers that want to work.

      • PBanks says:

        I get the sentiment Creamy, but what happens with the people living Spanish Point, Harrington Sound, St. Davids, that rely on buses?

        • serengeti says:

          what happens to them now? they can’t rely on the buses.

        • Creamy says:

          The bus drivers and unions obviously don’t give a rat’s behind about the people who need to get to work or school, or get home. So fire them and hire people who will show up for work.
          Obvious really, isn’t it.

  11. hmmm says:

    It sounds like POOR scheduling on the management side of things!

  12. Full moon in Paradise says:

    While placing a cap on the financial assistance budget, perhaps we can also put a cap on ‘ extended medical leave’ days and release these folk from their government employment contracts. This never ending saga of being on sick leave for years – is another example of fleecing the system.

  13. Furby says:

    The govt better grow some balls.

  14. Coffee says:

    Make them angry !….. Allow police , regiment , firemen , correctional officers and marine and ports workers to fill in when the sick drivers are out … Anybody but another full time bus operator ..we’re all in it together . What would then happen is that the sick drivers would miraculously get super healthy in a hurry !

    • Kangoocar says:

      Coffee, is that really you??? I totally agree with you!!! This shameful action by the Union membership needs to be remembered by everyone!!! This is nothing short of, using up QUESTIONBLE sick days before year end!!! I will NOT feel once once of sorrow for these bus bus drivers when the day that is SURELY coming that they actually are layed off!!! To all CS workers!!! If you don’t understand the anger we the actual paying tax paying public have towards you??? Read over and over this article until it sinks into your heads!!!!!

  15. tom cooke says:

    With all the buses that are out of action due to miantiance issues…40 plus at last count… there should be lots of extra drivers… and yes the union should encourage the drivers to work as when the hammer falls it will fall hard…
    last week I did 18 hrs this week 14 hrs. ..can’t drive a bus though..

  16. Clarke says:

    There are quite a few bus Operators abroad in Hospitals for what ever reason. But there is a culture of taking sick leave because it is “owed” to them.The abuse of sick leave is atrocious at PTB. There are cases where a driver does not like the bus that they have been allocated and they will go out sick and get away with it.Then there is the problem of people who are responsible for budgeting for spare parts that don’t get enough and therefore you have to wait until the next budget in the new year is passed before you can get them.There are some very dedicated workers at PTB but there are also those who take advantage of the opportunity to go out sick for no reason at all. AS the saying goes the “fish stinks from the head”. Bus Operators make a good wage. at least $25-$28 per hour maybe more.Proper disciple and fair control would maker for a better operation.As to the short routes being stopped. That is what this notice is letting us know.

  17. Clarke says:

    I was an Operator then a Supervisor at PTB so I know what I am talking about

  18. Sky Pilot says:

    time to go PRIVATE and reduce the hold the biu has over this country!
    time for the Government to act!
    time to use car share and gas share.
    failing all else,get on your bike.

  19. Y-Gurl says:

    Either a sick out or the toilets backed up again

  20. M Mellie says:

    Could somebody please spare a thought for these poor sick bus drivers? I mean come on! These poor people have all been stricken at the same time with this sickness whatever it might be. I mean what were the chances? How unlucky are these guys?

    Its OK for the rest of you who are well and able to go to work, but these unfortunate bus operators have been simultaneously struck down with some mysterious sickness. How would you feel?

    I certainly hope that all you people who are slagging off these poor sick men – will feel different when 90% of your work force falls ill on the same day.

    You people disgust me. These bus drivers are heroes!! In fact they should be nominated as joint Heroes for that day that used to be the Queen’s Birthday.

    Stop giving these sick bus drivers a hard time now!!!!

    • Damn Rather says:

      if 90% of any work force population became sick, we have big problems! Call in the World Heath Organization or whatever they are called.

      If this was the first time, I would be sympathetic BUT it happens all the time, so forgive us for crying “WOLF”.

    • Rockfish#2 says:

      That is funny! Problem is, some folks wont get the sarcasm.

    • Y-Gurl says:

      I think their “sickness” is called laziness and irresponsibility, they have a very basic job which most of us could do and if they don’t want to do it just quit and make room for some willing Bermudians

    • stunned... says:

      you’re funny!

  21. interesting.. says:

    There is nowhere in this article that labels these drivers as sick. You people are sick. Stop complaining. I feel sorry for your families. Bunch of miserable old people with nothing else to do but spew negativity

    • M Mellie says:

      Interesting; I’m not understanding here. They must be sick. I mean what other explanation is there for all these poor men not going to work?

      Anything other than genuine sickness would mean there is something perhaps dishonest going on here.

      Please enlighten all of us.

      In addition, I am not complaining – I was expressing concern for these poor sick bus drivers that’s all. I know what it is like to be fighting a nasty bug and these guys have my sympathy, Heroes is what they are.

    • BDA Friend says:

      I feel sorry for the folks that won’t be able to get home from work and school today. But, I guess you think they are just miserable complainers.

    • Creamy says:

      They’re not sick. Oh no. They’re pretending to be sick. Big difference.

    • Hmmm says:

      So, what makes staff shortages, when the number of staff is a constant?

    • Y-Gurl says:

      Then where did they all go all of a sudden dufus, did the Aliens take them? and don’t feel sorry for our families, they are not sick.

    • Ed Case says:

      Will if they called in ‘sick’ there’s really no other possible explanation is there? They must be sick!Unless I’m missing something.

  22. Lawry says:

    Call the bluff, shut the whole thing down and more if it comes to that. If you mean business Mr. Richards, then make it business.

  23. President Snow says:

    I believe that it is the busses themselves that are causing the sickness. They are unsafe and must be taken off the road if they are making this many drivers Sick.

    • hmmm says:

      That is a good point….remove the buses they must be the route cause of it. Then the workers won’t get sick anymore, they can go work somewhere where they wont get so sick.

  24. Lord Lucan says:

    I’m sure government records can prove this has all been backed up by the required doctors notes that are surely required after more than a day or two off the job.

  25. M Mellie says:

    Back in the day I remember half my class at Whitney getting a terrible tummy bug so don’t be so quick in thinking these poorly bus drivers are playing hooky.

    I’ve got some Vick’s Vapor Rub and some Castor Oil if anyone wants some.

    You are in my prayers for a speedy recovery.

    • .... says:

      You’ve got to be kidding right? And I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that they are out sick at the same time as the overtime ban was put in place. SMH

      Why doesn’t the PTB tell the tax paying public how much overtime was paid to the average driver over the last six months? That would make for some interesting reading!

  26. MAKE MY DAY says:

    The PLP /BIU and Civil Service are going to bankrupt the Island in the near future!! Nowhere else in the world would this be allowed to happen!!

    I can’t believe what has happened to BDA in the last 25 yrs!!!