Minister: Initiatives To Upgrade Bus Service

March 22, 2019 | 4 Comments

The Government is committed to providing a quality public bus service and there are several initiatives underway including the new bus schedule, new bus purchases, repairs and maintenance, real-time passenger information system, and digital fare media, Minister of Tourism and Transport Zane DeSilva said.

Speaking in the House of Assembly today [March 22], Minister DeSilva said, “This week marked the start of the new 2019 public bus schedule, which will address the shortage of available buses, eliminate bus cancellations and provide reliable service levels.

“The new schedule operates on 50 buses at peak times, which means there is some reduction in frequency, and is a temporary measure while DPT replenishes the aging bus fleet.

“The first of the eight new buses was delivered in February 2019. The second bus will arrive by mid-April, followed by one bus every three weeks through August 2019.

“Upgrading the bus service is not limited to new buses. Access to real-time updates on the bus service and cancellations is a reasonable expectation in 2019. DPT is working to provide real-time passenger information through online services, such as Google Transit and local third party applications. This will be implemented in 2019.

“Consistent with modernizing the bus service, this Ministry recently concluded an RFI, and is in the process of preparing an RFP, for Digital Fare Media. The current system of cash, paper tickets and tokens is antiquated.

“Electronic ticketing provides revenue assurance and the ridership data necessary to analyze and improve the bus service. Having the ability to purchase tickets online, tap and go will improve access to the bus service and enhance the customer experience.”

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Mr. Speaker, this Government is committed to providing a quality public bus service that commuters, students and visitors can rely on. To this end, there are several initiatives underway at the Department of Public Transportation. These include:

  • The New 2019 Bus Schedule
  • New Bus Purchases
  • Repairs and Maintenance
  • Real-Time Passenger Information System, and
  • Digital Fare Media

Mr. Speaker, this week marked the start of the new 2019 public bus schedule, which will address the shortage of available buses, eliminate bus cancellations and provide reliable service levels. The new schedule operates on 50 buses at peak times, which means there is some reduction in frequency, and is a temporary measure while DPT replenishes the aging bus fleet.

Mr. Speaker, The new bus schedule is off to a good start, with sufficient buses to meet the public bus schedule. The school bus service is operating without the additional support of minibuses.

As the schedule is new, some adjustments are to be expected. The Operations team at DPT is closely monitoring the performance of the new schedule and actively addressing issues as they arise. For example, extra “sweeper” buses are being deployed to supplement the schedule, where required.

Mr. Speaker, 1901, the first of the eight [8] new buses was delivered in February 2019. The second bus will arrive by mid-April, followed by one bus every three weeks through August 2019.

Mr. Speaker, the Memorandum of Understanding [MOU] between this Ministry and the Rocky Mountain Institute was signed in November 2018 to explore greener options and a less costly bus service. A request for information [RFI] was issued in January of this year to identify suitable bus options. This information will be used to prepare the next request for proposal [RFP] for new buses.

Mr. Speaker, MAN [our bus manufacturer] and DPT technicians recently completed the mid-life refurbishment of fourteen [14], 2009 series buses. This involved the replacement of the engine, transmission, and differential on each bus. This project will provide five more years of reliable operation for these buses.

Mr. Speaker, upgrading the bus service is not limited to new buses. Access to real-time updates on the bus service and cancellations is a reasonable expectation in 2019. DPT is working to provide real-time passenger information through online services, such as Google Transit and local third party applications [Apps]. This will be implemented in 2019.

Mr. Speaker, consistent with modernizing the bus service, this Ministry recently concluded an RFI, and is in the process of preparing an RFP, for Digital Fare Media. The current system of cash, paper tickets and tokens is antiquated. Electronic ticketing provides revenue assurance and the ridership data necessary to analyze and improve the bus service. Having the ability to purchase tickets online, tap and go will improve access to the bus service and enhance the customer experience.

Mr. Speaker, the Department of Public Transportation is committed to moving Bermuda with a quality public bus service. These initiatives are evidence of the progress to date.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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Comments (4)

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  1. trump supporter says:

    #2025

  2. Question says:

    Here’s an idea for the Minister. Those 4 buses that were ordered by you lot and delivered in Bermuda early in 2018. Where are they? Why aren’t they on the road?

  3. PBanks says:

    It will be fascinating to compare the amount of cancellations and if it balances with what the public’s reporting in regard to availability thanks to some routes/times being cut.

  4. Hair says:

    Maybe Zane should try and catch a bus to make it to an appointment, to find out the bus is cancelled!!! Oh my…

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