Minister: Mini Buses To Assist On School Routes

September 7, 2017 | 71 Comments

[Updated] “This year we have faced a number of challenges with the island’s bus fleet,” and with the new school year set to begin on Monday, the Government has “provided a contingency plan for student transportation,” and “contracted the services of mini buses,” Minister of Transport and Regulatory Affairs Walter Roban said.

Speaking at a press conference this afternoon [Sept 7], Minister Roban said, “With the new school year commencing on Monday, I wish to provide an update on the bus services for students and the general public.

Walter Roban Press Conference Bermuda Sept 7 2017

“This year we have faced a number of challenges with the island’s bus fleet. A central issue has been the state of disrepair, which has reduced the number of buses available to service school and commuter routes.

“Understandably, this has left parents and students very worried about the bus availability for the immediate future.

“Today, I am pleased to report that the Department of Public Transport has taken steps to address the issues, and have provided a contingency plan for student transportation.

“DPT Mechanics have maintained a rigorous – and I repeat – a rigorous maintenance schedule to contain the number of out of service vehicles in the existing fleet. This includes installation of new parts including replacement radiators.

“Also, modifications are being made to our buses to better ventilate the engines, which we believe will reduce the number of out of service buses through overheating. We have contracted the services of mini buses through the Bermuda Minibus Association to ensure schoolchildren get to class on time.

“The mini buses will cover the traditional school bus routes and will pick up school children. The mini buses will be dispatched from east and west ends of the island in the mornings, and from CedarBridge and Berkeley in the afternoons.

“The use of licensed mini buses for school children will alleviate the pressure on the regular bus fleet, however, should children miss the minibus they will be able to take the regular bus to school.”

Last month, the Government confirmed that over 50 buses — out of a total fleet of 105 — were out of service.

Update 2.30pm: Minister Roban’s full remarks:

Good afternoon.

I am joined today by the Acting Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Transport & Regulatory Affairs Dr. Marisa Stones, the Director of the Department of Public Transportation Stephen Outerbridge and BIU officials.

With the new school year commencing on Monday, I wish to provide an update on the bus services for students and the general public.

This year we have faced a number of challenges with the island’s bus fleet. A central issue has been the state of disrepair, which has reduced the number of buses available to service school and commuter routes.

Understandably, this has left parents and students very worried about bus availability for the immediate future.

Today, I am pleased to report that the Department of Public Transportation [DPT] has taken steps to address the issues and have provided a contingency plan for student transportation.

  • DPT mechanics have maintained a rigorous maintenance schedule to contain the number of out of service vehicles in the existing fleet. This includes the installation of new parts, including replacement radiators.
  • Also, modifications are being made to our buses to better ventilate the engines which we believe will reduce the number of buses out of service through over-heating.
  • We have contracted the services of mini buses through the Bermuda Minibus Association to ensure school children get to class on time. The mini buses will cover the traditional school bus routes and will only pick up school children. The mini buses will be dispatched from the east and west ends of the island in the mornings and from CedarBridge and Berkeley in the afternoons. Children should travel the school bus routes as normal to catch the mini buses to and from schools. The use of licensed minibuses for school children will alleviate the pressure on the regular bus fleet. However, should children miss the minibus, they will be able to use the regular buses to get to school.
  • In addition, we expect to begin taking possession of four new buses within a few months.

The DPT will maintain the existing posted bus schedule which can be found on gov.bm.

The repairs and modifications to the bus fleet, together with the addition of new buses, and the support from minibuses will resolve the problems we have experienced this year.

Thank you. If there are any questions, I will take them now.

click here Bermuda bus service

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Comments (71)

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  1. Um.... says:

    Cost?

    • watching says:

      the cost of not getting our students to school on time is likely larger…but probably not important for some whose only reference point is money.

      • inna says:

        No money = no schools!

      • wahoo says:

        PLP are in for a term in government where they will get picked on especially concerning areas that they criticized the former government so suck it up, they knew the job description going in and they wrote the book on complaining. I am taking bets on how long it will be before they start saying “money doesn’t grow on trees”.

        They made this bed five years ago and now they can bloody well sleep in it!

      • Um.... says:

        Regardless of the reason, the public should always be informed when public funds are being used. Especially if those funds are going to private individuals.

  2. San George says:

    Sounds like privatization of transportation to me – and they ought too!

    • Truths says:

      Yes, a step in the right direction towards privatization. Should have been done LONG ago, but better late than never.

    • Well with Chris in negotiatons, one of de clauses would be, as soon as we get up to par we thank you for your help but we good now.
      Sorry Charlie.

  3. A Chap called Vanz says:

    A sensible short term solution.

    However, I can’t help thinking if the OBA had done this the BIU would be striking and crying privatisation.

  4. Cedar Stump says:

    Privatization if there ever was. Oh look who is center stage. Walter Roban and Chris Furburt !!!!!!! If the OBA suggested this there would be marches a plenty.

  5. nerema says:

    Privatization. Here it comes.

  6. BiggaBoss says:

    Privatization of school buses should be considered!
    The current system works poorly.
    Why should my taxes pay to get your children to school?

    • Why did my taxes help to have a sailboat race for Billionaires, and they shipped everything in duty FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Ringmaster says:

        You are a poster child for Public Education, which will not change under the PLP. Most of the PLP/BIU elite send their children to private schools. The minions cannot. Two Bermudas? Think about it.

      • Seniors says:

        Which will make millions upon millions for Bermuda. For you, for me, for our children.

      • mixitup says:

        I’d like to see ‘BiggaBoss’ come out publicly with this comment… Just to think these types live amongst us make me crindge!

        • Well Trump is President of US and has 30% just like him, so nothing surprises me, some of them are here too.

          • Ok says:

            Man stfu. PLPs slogan ” Bermudians first ” is just like Trumps ” Americans 1st “….difference is the US makes around 20 trillion a year and doesn’t rely on foreign companies and tourism. Irony?

          • fu says:

            OJ, you love trump, you’re a republican.

      • wahoo says:

        Trickle down, it is how the world works. You hate that term but that is how it works you ding dong.

  7. Jus' Wonderin' says:

    Ahhhhhh….the old friends and family plan back in action lmfao!

    The more things change…

    • What goes around comes around.
      U.B.P. had old friends and family plan for over 300 years, we playing catch up.
      LMAO

      • Zevon says:

        They’re privatizing the buses right under your nose. You’re such a moron.

      • fu says:

        “What goes around comes around.
        U.B.P. had old friends and family plan for over 300 years, we playing catch up.
        LMAO”

        LMAO..so , you admit that your party is no better than the OBA…LOL, you’re such a moron.

        • lol ubpoba fu says:

          Instead of calling him moron it would be nice if you were honest and explained why the UBP OBA party always had money! We all supposed to be one Bermuda and the truth is that’s it always been 2 Bermudas. Also explain why you had to change the name….let’s keep it real.

  8. wahoo says:

    Will there be transport for de party?

  9. Albie says:

    So will the Transport Minister Roban now look to the significant cost savings by taking in house the work now being done by Bermuda Emisssions Control Limited BECL and realize the $1 million / year savings claimed by then TCD Director Randy Rochester in his testimony before the Public Accounts Committee PAC in February 2011? Or will he ignore the cost saving just as every transport minister since?

    The stated cost of the 4 new busses is $1.4 million. The proposed saving would basically provide 3 new busses per year at no additional cost to the taxpayer.

    I for one shall be interested to see what he does.

  10. Bullnoseh says:

    Dere privating are busses. We are against it!

  11. George says:

    Ha…………..what’s Chris Furbert doing there?

    • wahoo says:

      Every time we see him in a picture with an MP we should ask for the BIU financials from the last 18 years….transparency was a word that was used a lot last election.

    • Justice Sousa says:

      should the devil cast his net now — what a haul he would get

  12. Rocky5 says:

    Was the contracting of the mini buses run through the Govt. Procurement Office or not? Which mini bus operators were awarded the business? How long are the contracts and how much are they being paid? Didn’t the PLP promise transparency?

  13. Albie says:

    George it’s patently obvious that the biu president supports the use of minibuses and non unionized labour.

    I wonder what his union members think of his support fo non union labour?

    • Non Union labour benefits from Organized labour, where do you think lunch breaks, sick leave, maternity leave etc. comes from.
      I guess you think employers woke up one morning and said, lets give our employees benefits.
      No dreamer, people negotiated and boycotted to get benefits and a liveable wage.
      So de next time you take a lunch break just remember, someone sacrificed so you can benefit, even those of you that are not organized and hate UNIONS.
      UNITED WE STAND
      DIVIDED WE fall

      • Ok says:

        Na you slogan is wrong….with the current economic outlook it should be….” Divided or United we gonna fall ” …PLP/OBA it doesn’t matter….how is BERMUDA going to fix this…Depts rising and times ticking.

  14. mixitup says:

    ^^^Haha Look at all the HATERS ^^^^ Unfortunate that the OBA could not avoid this situation from the begining, now you complain about the only solution? Have a seat all of you… Your useless fake OBA Party spent 77 million on a sail boat race and you complain that this Gov’t is looking out for the school kids? Be happy they are taken care of… Oh rite, your nanny drops yours off and picks them up…I forgot.

    • Parent says:

      I’m white, I can’t afford a nanny, and am struggling to get by. Does does that tally with your racist outlook on life?

    • Rocky27 says:

      Look in the mirror for a HATER.

    • kevin says:

      heres a reply
      the AC will have brought in 100 million + it will prove to be the only project that made money …your blinders are on to tight …relax we are 1/2 a billion better in 5 years your beloved PLP will sink us so far you won’t see light …watch…no wait you will feel it just like i will

  15. kevin says:

    can someone explain how we go from almost all working in June to 70% out in September …..i have a few ideas but not wanting to be sounding negative will hold back
    We Must hold all of our employees accountable …will the government do this
    well……..we will see

  16. Ppamplin says:

    When the bus fleet was woefully inadequately serviced and the drivers failed to pick up our children during exam times, the OBA government ensured that our children were delivered to school and back home in the evening, using mini buses.

    While it may have been more expensive, our school children and their education are priceless.

    Another service provided for the public by the OBA government.

    • lol ubpoba fu says:

      Worst Immigration Minister in history keep your mouth zipped you had your chance now go retire with the rest of the ubp. Allow the oba to survive because with you in the driver’s seat OMG help them.

  17. PLP all de way says:

    Why don’t PLP show us they are in charge and buy all new buses. It would comp,etely solve the problem. And don’t tell me there isn’t any money cos PLP should be able to print more. Just get on with it, that’s why we voted for you. And I still don’t have the house you promised me. Soon I hope.

    • Ok says:

      Smh. PLP don’t run the banks bro…print money? 4 buses cost 1.4 Millie…..don’t be silly.

  18. drunken ursula says:

    under the OBA mini buses were used also, my son caught it every morning from St. Georges going CBA …its just extended to this school term ! where was your out cry then ????

    • Bullnoseh says:

      So de PLP is just taking credit for the OBA solution.

      • fu says:

        “So de PLP is just taking credit for the OBA solution.”

        As usual, the plp are not capable of anything.

        • lol ubpoba fu says:

          The only solution for the ubp/oba was to change the name and look for a mascot to run it. NO MORE Craig Premiers well than again you still have Sylvan Richards or the $30,000 he spent in a week at the Olympics to front for FU.

  19. mrs smith says:

    We are back in this week – have been waiting over an hour for the/a bus to get our children and home xx

  20. Jose says:

    I though they promised free bus travel ?? Smmh not much changed

  21. Starting Point says:

    Good, privatize the busses completely. And finish the job shutting down ridiculous post offices, the union can’t say s*%t to stop them as they are in bed with the PLP.

    Could be the perfect scenario to break the union.

    also FYI lets not ignore the fact that for 15 years plus the transport department has done a poor job of maintenance, hired unqualified mechanics, failed to provide any decent training, allowed the union to dictate the lowest common denominator when it comes to work.

    But it did give me a laugh seeing Chris with his tail between his legs like a good puppy to his new PLP masters.

  22. O.M.G says:

    I know we need buses, My question is while these guys are driving these buses and getting paid what are the regular bus driver doing that have no buses to drive are we still paying them to just sit around. What happened to all those buses that brown brought in with the handicapped doors I only see a few on the roads I thought they were new. And yes please privatize the buses then they can’t go out on strike all the time, oh ya I forgot no more stikes everything is A okay now, union is the PLP who can they blame now not a good thing at all.

  23. Coxswain says:

    When positive strides are made why does someone look for a negative to bring it down!!!! SMH…

    • Earth watch police says:

      Coxwain it’s all a game ubp taught plp the game and they played it well all that’s left now is a desolate road to oblivion well it’s what we deserve.

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