Minister Roban: Buses, Ferries, Energy & More

October 11, 2017 | 31 Comments

The hiring freeze has been lifted for the DPT to “get on with the hiring of the needed staff to keep more buses on the road,” Government is “committed to working with the Police to implement road-side sobriety testing,” and the Millennium Ferry’s contract is coming to an end and “we see no need to renew it.”

These were a few of the statements made by Minister of Transport and Regulatory Affairs Walter Roban at a press briefing today, where he discussed topics including the bus system, ferry service, road safety, our energy future and more.

Minister Roban said, “The 2017 Throne Speech laid out the government’s commitment to a better, fairer Bermuda. Throughout the document you will find our determination to make our island home a better place to live.

Road Safety

“Importantly, we must come to grips with the staggering number of road fatalities. The carnage on our roads is sobering. We are seeing an epidemic of road deaths and we must address it aggressively,” the Minister said.

“The Government will have to consider making driver’s education a requirement earlier in life and it is becoming clear that speed cameras and licence plate recognition technology may have to become a reality. In addition, we are committed to working with the Police to implement road-side sobriety testing during this Parliamentary year.

Bus Service

“We also believe in more dependable public transportation. Daily bus service is important for people getting to and from work, and, for our children getting to and from school.

“With a reduced number of buses, and a reduced number of mechanics at DPT, we have not kept up with demand. So, we have moved quickly to source locally additional mechanics to expedite the repair of our buses.

“We determined the need for even more personnel dedicated to the maintenance of our fleet, after we discovered that there were 14 maintenance positions left vacant by a government hiring freeze.

Hiring Freeze Lifted For DPT

“That hiring freeze has now been lifted, at least for the Department of Public Transportation, which allows my Ministry to get on with the hiring of the needed staff to keep more buses on the road.

“There is also equipment important to the maintenance of the buses which is broken and the investment has to be made in this to guarantee proper repair and maintenance of the fleet.

Expecting Four New Buses

“We are still expecting four new buses in the New Year and we are preparing an RFP for additional buses. We are also working with our manufacturers to source external support for mechanics and equipment.

Minibus Contract

“The minibus programme we previously announced to ensure students got to school, has been running since we signed the contract.

“Over a two week period, they did more than 250 runs, carrying almost 6,000 passengers.

“The contract is for this term, and we hope that around the end of the year we’ll no longer need them. The minibus solution has worked well and we are grateful for their assistance.

Ferry Service

“With regard to our ferry service, things have been better this year than last, with a larger number of ferries operational. The Millennium Ferry’s contract is coming to an end and we see no need to renew it.

“With regard to transportation more universally, we live in the age of minicars, electric cars and we seem to be inching closer to driverless-cars – a true auto-mobile.

“With all the changes, it is important to take stock of the future of private and public-service transportation in general.

Green Paper On Future Of Transport

“Our thorough review will lead to a Green Paper on the future of transport in Bermuda.

“The last transportation plan was conducted in 2002, so it is about time that we looked at it again and provide the public with an opportunity for input, before establishing a new blueprint for the future of transportation in Bermuda.

“We intend to make transportation options more useful for all Bermudians.

“This includes the introduction of electronic payment for public transportation, which we believe will be welcomed by locals and visitors alike.

Energy Future

“My Ministry is also responsible for energy. This involves the development of policy, legislation and regulation in order to ensure a secure energy future for Bermuda.

“We are sifting through various proposals aimed at tackling some of the highest energy costs in the world.

“We believe getting a handle on our energy uses and costs will involve new entrepreneurial opportunities and increase economic growth.

“We are seeking energy independence and freedom from an over-reliance on fossil fuels. But we also believe it will lead to business opportunities in our economy,” the Minister concluded.

Another Note: Support Hurricane Relief

“On another note, I encourage all residents to support the West Indian Association’s ‘Give From the Heart’ Telethon which takes place on Thursday evening. This Hurricane fundraising campaign will raise money for those islands devastated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

“Both were Category 5 storms. The event will be held at The Berkeley Institute Cafetorium and aired on local television from 6:00pm to 7:00pm and 7.30pm to 10.30pm. I urge everyone to give generously.”

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40-minute video below of the live replay of Bernews interview with the Minister last week, where he discussed these topics and more.

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Comments (31)

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  1. Pondering says:

    I hope we’ll still have the Dockyard-St George’s ferry! Residents also like to attend functions and events at each end of the island on weekends too so don’t forget us.

  2. Micro says:

    How about getting on with the new schedule as well?

  3. somuchless says:

    Roban tell us more about the mini bus friends and family contract will you????

    • Mixitup says:

      Call him and ask, Press them, The Bernews comment section is not going to get you the answer. Or are you just stopping in to sling mud?

    • Bermudian Patriot says:

      Exactly, what is that golden egg of a minibus contract costing us taxpayers? Who owns them?

  4. Joe Bloggs says:

    The hiring freeze has been lifted for the DPT to “get on with the hiring of the needed staff to keep more buses on the road,”

    Ok, but where will the extra money come from?

    ““We are still expecting four new buses in the New Year”

    Good. Those have been ordered and should already be accounted for in the current budget.

    “we are preparing an RFP for additional buses”

    Ok, but where will the extra money come from?

    • Bermudian Patriot says:

      We will simply hire out the new mechanics to work on the mini buses for $1 an hour. Rent the minibuses space at the bus garage for $1 a year and charge them $1 a gallon for gas. No problem, stop fretting, it’s ALL IN HAND!

  5. Onion says:

    How is this being paid for?

    • Truths says:

      Is this lot printing their own money or picking from their massive money tree?

      • wahoo says:

        Money tree – it must be the money tree.

      • FU says:

        “Is this lot printing their own money or picking from their massive money tree?”

        They’ve got about $800M stashed in a hollow cedar log somewhere.

  6. cant wait says:

    Stay tuned more to come! These extreme high tides have caused a growth spurt in the money tree.

  7. Dockyard Lackey says:

    Electronic payment for buses sounds wonderful. I travel by bus on a regular basis and I am stunned by the number of people who amble on to the bus, nod to the driver, and make their way to a seat without depositing a ticket or showing a pass. They are neither seniors nor school kids, so I am guessing they are part of the F and F Plan. Paying the correct fare would go a long way to easing the financial losses attributed to Public Transportation.

  8. Northrock says:

    I’m smiling about this hiring freeze being lifted. The real problem is getting the buses fixed and on the road.

    I remember years ago my mate telling me that hiring bus drivers was a major issue…not because of $$$$ but because you cannot have a criminal record if you want to drive the public on land or sea.

    I’d be interested to know the 2017 policy on what blemishes rule out a driver….criminal, DUI convictions, abuse against people….???

  9. Toodle-oo says:

    It seems to be that people expect to live their lives as normal and still get the same services that we did in the old days from a government that now isn’t just broke it’s in 2.5Bn of debt !

    People are howling now and because of political expediency the awful medicine that we WILL have to take hasn’t even been administered yet.

    What’s going to happen then ?

  10. imjustsayin says:

    Speed detection cameras will not make the roads safer, they will only fill up the Governments coffers. Please don’t try and fool us.

  11. aceboy says:

    Vote payment in the form of jerbs.

  12. Stevie says:

    My bull**** meter just gone over the maximum.

    • really says:

      yes, agreed…also what is this nonsense spewed out…

      Energy Future

      “My Ministry is also responsible for energy. This involves the development of policy, legislation and regulation in order to ensure a secure energy future for Bermuda.

      “We are sifting through various proposals aimed at tackling some of the highest energy costs in the world.

      “We believe getting a handle on our energy uses and costs will involve new entrepreneurial opportunities and increase economic growth.

      “We are seeking energy independence and freedom from an over-reliance on fossil fuels. But we also believe it will lead to business opportunities in our economy,” the Minister concluded.

  13. kevin says:

    PLP = SPEND SPEND SPEND SPEND SPEND SPEND

  14. kevin says:

    Fire those under performimg and Manage thats all we want

  15. Up D hill says:

    The Burt and Robain way lets throw money we dont have at everything!

  16. marcusbmco says:

    So, the alcho analyzer breath test implemented 20 years ago isn’t a “roadside sobriety test” ???
    Always fooling the sheep with new and improved, “state of the art”.
    The only people who use this term are politicians and salespeople.

  17. jt says:

    The only way they are ever going to balance the budget by 2019 – as promised – is through large tax increases.
    Just as likely is that their promise will be swept under the rug and deficits will rise (even with tax increases).

    • Toodle-oo says:

      And those huge tax increases are going to be very specifically crafted .

      If you get my drift .

  18. O.M.G says:

    Well they have no problem buying New GP Blue cars again where the hell is all this money coming from

    • Bermudian Patriot says:

      To Pay-our half a mill a day in interest we owe every single day, we will simply borrow a mill a day, and you have half a mill a day to spend, duhhh!!!!

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