Minister: 2019 Transport Green Paper Released

May 17, 2019 | 8 Comments

The 196-page 2019 Transport Green Paper has been released, which was “designed to stimulate debate on a range of options for strengthening the transportation sector to better plan for the future.”

Speaking in the House of Assembly today [May 17], Minister of Tourism and Transport Zane DeSilva said, “The Government undertook to conduct a thorough review of transportation and to produce a Green Paper on the future of transport that will provide various options for modernisation, which also takes into account the needs of the differently-abled.

Minister DeSilva speaking with Bernews today

“Government recognises that technology is modernising transportation globally and that Bermuda must examine those trends when taking into account the future of public and private transportation.

“The Ministry of Tourism & Transport is very pleased to lay the 2019 Transport Green Paper before this Honourable House today, and we are ready for a debate in early June on the priorities that emerged from the consultation period.

“Three overarching themes emerged when we assessed the issues, comments and thoughts of respondents during the extensive consultation period. These themes centred on [i] safety, [ii] reliability and [iii] the desire for frictionless transport experiences.”

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Mr. Speaker, in the 2017 Speech from the Throne, the Government undertook to conduct a thorough review of transportation and to produce a Green Paper on the future of transport that will provide various options for modernisation, which also takes into account the needs of the differently-abled. Government recognises that technology is modernising transportation globally and that Bermuda must examine those trends when taking into account the future of public and private transportation.

Mr. Speaker, the Ministry of Tourism & Transport is very pleased to lay the 2019 Transport Green Paper before this Honourable House today, and we are ready for a debate in early June on the priorities that emerged from the consultation period.

Mr. Speaker, the Transport Green Paper consultation process was designed to stimulate debate on a range of options for strengthening the transportation sector to better plan for the future. The public was invited to comment and engage in discussion between November 2017 and December 2018, to identify and modernise transportation efficiencies and policies that are realistic, fiscally prudent and enhance transportation safety and experiences for all.

Three overarching themes emerged when we assessed the issues, comments and thoughts of respondents during the extensive consultation period. These themes centred on [i] safety, [ii] reliability and [iii] the desire for frictionless transport experiences.

Specifically, there is a high demand for more:

  • 1. reliable public bus transportation;
  • 2. reliable taxi service;
  • 3. sidewalks;
  • 4. traffic enforcement to deter bad driving behaviours;
  • 5. enforcement of heavy trucks on the roads;
  • 6. safe spaces to walk and cycle;
  • 7. motorised wheelchair transport options;
  • 8. smooth road surfaces;
  • 9. regulations to establish, for example, training standards for Public Service Vehicle drivers, higher road traffic fines, etc.; and,
  • 10. funds to modernise transportation infrastructure and services in an energy efficient and intelligent way.

Mr. Speaker, the Transport Green Paper has caused us in the Ministry of Tourism & Transport to re-evaluate our short and long-term goals over the next five, ten and twenty years and focus on the future by making the necessary changes required to modernise our transportation infrastructure. We will be setting new goals and priorities.

Mr. Speaker, we will start by implementing many of the hundreds of recommendations offered by our stakeholders, who included residents, students, managers within public authorities, business groups and visitors, regarding, for example:

  • a] supporting taxi and minibus solutions relating to rates, central despatching and credit card acceptance;
  • b] issuing 20 new special taxis permits [of the 88 special permits allowed by legislation] for five years to see if this will help alleviate some of the demand problems experienced at peak times and late in the evenings;
  • c] delivering on safety programmes for safer drivers, walkers and pedal cyclists;
  • d] implementing speed camera and stop light initiatives;
  • e] approving more wheelchair accessible taxis and minibuses with lifts;
  • f] incentivising community service vehicle transport options for our differently-abled residents;
  • g] procuring a new energy efficient public buses and a bow-loading ferry fleet, with a digital fare media and GPS tracking applications, for better customer experiences;
  • h] increasing road traffic violation fines to $300 across the board [except driving without due care and attention and driving while under the influence which may incur heavier fines];
  • i] focusing on training and standards programmes for Public Service Vehicle operators;
  • j] monitoring and increasing the number of rental livery minicars to 500;
  • k] revamping and modernising the Project Ride training programme; and,
  • l] setting a goal date for Bermuda to “Go Green” by eliminating the importation of fossil fuel reliant vehicles [cars, bikes and trucks], recognizing the Government ought to lead by example with respect to its own fleet of vehicles.

There are many more suggestions that will be taken into consideration as we move public policy forward.

Mr Speaker, in closing, technology is changing very quickly and we must be able to adjust accordingly, and prepare for a future where perhaps Bermuda embraces autonomous vehicles.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker

The full 2019 Transport Green Paper follows below [PDF here]:

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Comments (8)

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  1. sandgrownan says:

    Need Uber.

  2. Bs says:

    What no Uber so we retired seniors can work as transit ambassadors? This is unacceptable!

  3. Nice says:

    Island Construction vehicle on the cover lol

  4. Wahoo says:

    Seems like everything stimulates debate especially when ad is involved.

  5. Hear we go pick on the Taxi driver we need more expets

  6. puzzled says:

    “stimulate debate”.

    Anyone awake out there in Bermuda?

    RIP.

  7. I'm just saying says:

    That’s hilarious!

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