OBA: When Is Govt Going To Resolve Issue?

June 19, 2018 | 14 Comments

Shadow Transport Minister Leah Scott has criticized the Department of Transport over “confusing communications” about whether the bus service would run on yesterday’s [June 18] National Heroes Day holiday.

This follows after the Department originally said that reports stating that buses would not run on Monday’s public holiday were “not true,” which was followed up by a statement saying there was a “risk” buses would not run on Monday, and the final result was that buses did not run on the Monday.

“Despite receiving reassurances that there would be no disruption in the bus service and no inconvenience to the general public in respect of the bus service on Bermuda National Heroes Day, there was no bus service,” said Ms Scott.

“The Department of Public Transportation [DPT] stated that there is a dispute ongoing between the DPT and its unionized workers, but confirmed that notwithstanding that dispute, the bus service would operate yesterday [Monday] as per the holiday schedule.

“Following that statement, we learned that due to an ‘impasse in the interpretation of overtime’, there was a risk that the bus services would not run. Bermuda Industrial Union President, Chris Furbert then said the BIU took the decision to work to rule, which meant no overtime and no bus service.”

Ms Scott added: “It is clear that there is a general communication problem within the Department of Public Transportation and both locals and our visitors were inconvenienced because of it.

“There was an obvious disconnect between the workers and management and as a result members of our community and our guests suffered the consequences of the lack of clear direction and leadership.”

She said that in September 2017, the Minister of Transport Walter Roban “assured the Bermuda public that in addition to four new buses ordered and due on Island at the end of the year, the Office of Project Management and Procurement was reviewing an RFP which sought tenders for up to eight new buses.”

“It was part of the Government’s Throne Speech initiative to continue with re-investment in the bus fleet. In the February 2018 Budget Statement the Premier pledged $3 million to help improve the Island’s bus fleet,” added Ms Scott.

According to Ms Scott, the first new bus, which was one of four ordered, arrived in January 2018, and at that time Minister Roban said that “a substantial improvement in the status quo” for the bus service was expected in the “weeks and months ahead”.

“However, it appears that the bus service is deteriorating, not improving. There were 147 bus cancellations announced last week,” she added, referring to the 147 cancellations on Friday afternoon.

“So many members of our community rely on our public transportation system to get to work, to get to the grocery store, to get home, and for their overall transportation needs. We are entering the height of our tourist season, and the majority of our guests utilize our public transportation for many reasons, including cost efficiency.

“The status quo will not do. When is the Government going to resolve this issue so that the members of our community and our visitors will not continue to be inconvenienced. There is an economic impact component here that is affecting all of us and must be addressed.

“When will the additional buses that were promised be landed? Why is the number of bus cancellations increasing instead of decreasing? When will the bus schedule be brought to arbitration? It is incumbent upon the Government to bring a speedy and satisfactory resolution to this issue.”

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Comments (14)

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  1. WSP says:

    Only the blind flaithful believed they would deliver on there election promises.Everyone else knew it was all hot air

    • Lol says:

      And we are still waiting on the obas promises 5 years on. And so u dont forget which it seems like you are trying to, this crap happened because the OBA failed to resolve this issue. It came up during their time and the PLP are cleaning up their mess like u stated the oba done for 4 and half years which is a complete lie but the Oba is one big lie so what should I expect, i.e. the surrogate report they tried to cover up.

      • puzzled says:

        Your a bigger fool than you portray “Lol”.

        Your either off island or a very rich person

      • WSP says:

        LOL you must be one of the sheep

      • Jus sayin says:

        Busses were an issue for 20 years. Both parties failed to tackle it

        • Toodle-oo says:

          And neither will ever tackle it because it means for one group ,pissing off their voter base and the other for fear of having the island shut down again as in 1981

        • puzzled says:

          Very true.
          This is today; not twenty years ago.
          Your point?

      • aceboy says:

        LOL

        This guy is one of the little birds in the PLP nest waiting for Davey Bitcoin to drop some more worms in his mouth.

  2. Joe Bloggs says:

    I guess I should book a taxi now for Cup Match!

    • Paul says:

      I did better than preordering a taxi.. I rented an apt in the area, this transportation problem will never be solved.

  3. watching says:

    While I agree that the issues between the DPT and Government need to be sorted out, this column by OBA Deputy is disingenuous, as her government did NOTHING in the last 5 years to resolve these issues. They did not just develop in the last 11 months.

    • Centralised says:

      They weren’t allowed to. Furbert stalled and stalled as it wasn’t in his/union’s best interests, and PTB were happy to tag along to make OBA look bad.

  4. Kim Smith says:

    I cannot wait for the day that we mature as a people and stop passing the buck back and forth from one political party to the other as some sort of justification for why things don’t get done in Bermuda.

  5. You should know says:

    Take them to court and then they will be fined and then they won’t do it any more but the PLP do not have the balls to take the BIU to court

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