Minister On New Buses, Schedule, Unions, More

June 27, 2018 | 9 Comments

[Written by Don Burgess]

Locals can expect the first of eight new buses to be on the road by the end of the year, the Transport Minister said.

Deputy Premier and Minister of Transport and Regulatory Affairs Walter Roban told Bernews that great strides had been made in the past five days to help address the concerns of workers at DPT and part of those concerns were getting new vehicles for the island’s aging bus fleet.

“We are pleased that last Friday, just before five o’clock there was a conclusion to the work to rule with the team at DPT and the team at the BIU,” Minister Roban said. “We’re now in the position in shaping the relationship as we go forward.”

bermuda bus generic vehicle 212 (2)

He said his department fully understands what the issues were that brought about the work to rule. Minister Roban added commitments had been made by both sides so now the focus is on building the relationship going forward.

He said these long-standing issues have gone on for years.

“There are issues around the condition of the facility, particularly down in St. George’s,” Minister Roban said. “Some of the issues deal with the condition of the fleet and improvement towards the fleet.

“In this last budget year alone, Cabinet approved over $3 million for the purchase of new buses. That doesn’t include the four buses that are coming. We have a purchase of eight new buses which …the first new bus should come by the end of the year.”

He said an additional $1 million is going into a refurbishment programme to help give new life to some of the older vehicles of the fleet.

“In the 2018/19 budget, we have another $3 million lined up for investment as well. That doesn’t include some of the other things we are doing.

“We are looking at making transport smarter. We are investing in a digital ticketing system that tracks passengers so we can get a better handle on the optimisation of service so to better our customer service capabilities.”

One of the boogeymen that have plagued his predecessors is getting a new schedule approved.

“There hasn’t been a genuine change in the bus schedule in 20 years. We need to look at where is the highest usage; where is the demand?

“We can change the level of service we’re giving if we know more about what the demand is. How can we serve the Bermudian public better? Having smart capabilities will help that.”

He added the lack of scheduling change in the past would not hamper his future efforts with the union.

“We’re committed to working with the union, knowing the situation that we have to ensure creating a schedule model that will ensure the best possible service. I am convinced that this is what the DPT staff want and we want to work with them to do this. We understand it hasn’t worked in the past, but we’re not focused on the lack of successes of the past; we’re focused on the success of the future.”

He said this would help eradicate the rash of cancellations the public have had to deal with from the bus service.

“We are employing a plan to address the issues of the cancellations. We are now working on a plan of changing the schedule and the roster based on the availability of buses,” Minister Roban said. “So that there will be little or no cancellations and maintaining a service that Bermudians know that they’re getting.

Minister Roban added he would make an effort to be more engaged with the leaders of the BIU surrounding matters pertaining to the DPT.

“We will do our best to deal with things before they arise,” the Minister said. “There is a process in place to deal with that. There will be more effort between meetings to talk and ensure that everyone, …myself and management are accessible and happy to deal with issues.

“We have a vision for the service of public transport,” Minister Roban said. “That is addressing issues that we’ve had such as the lack of staff. “We are in the process of hiring at least four new staff members.

“There are a number of supervisory and management positions that were not filled such as human resources and such as maintenance manager and operations personnel. We are now also focusing on training as well, so staff get more proficient at the work they do going forward.”

Also, Minister Roban said Government is also working the manufacturers to ensure the DPT can get the most out of the current models.

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Comments (9)

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  1. Spanner breath says:

    Yawn….

    • Raw Onion says:

      LOL….I was doing the same when I read this then I get to the comments and see i’m not alone.

      Everything Roban has said has been said before many years ago. The change to a digital ticketing/tracking system was talked about more than 10 years ago, it never happened just like the schedule. The divers, the union and the ministry are not serious about public transportation in Bermuda.

      Remember when we used to get 20 new buses in one shipment and this was every few years. Buses were clean and ran on time. It was a pleasure to ride the bus back in the day (and without air conditioning).

  2. Southampton says:

    Just keep Burch out of any talks.

  3. puzzled says:

    These people are so full of diesel.

    The buses won’t be here till end of year; (what happens in the interim)

    Smoke, too wide mirrors, and…

    The PLP are full of tails with no dogs.

  4. “We are investing in a digital ticketing system that tracks passengers so we can get a better handle on the optimisation”

    They put out an RFP for digital ticketing for the ferries on extremely short notice. Then they pulled it hours after the submission deadline.

    Now they’re “investing” in a system themselves.

  5. PBanks says:

    Right now it’s just empty words here. What are Roban’s opinions of the schedule and efficiency?

  6. Gustav says:

    Its Said :
    Locals can expect the first of eight new buses to be on the road by the end of the year, the Transport Minister said.

    But its NOT Said which year.
    Smoke generated and the crowd is quite…..
    I bet , they will NOT Be on the road by end of this year………

  7. Triangle Drifter says:

    Just think if we did not have that near $600,000 per day PLP caused debt service cost we could be buying at least 8 new buses a week.

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