Video: Ministers Hold Press Conference

November 15, 2023 | 5 Comments

[Updated] Minister of Economy and Labour Jason Hayward and Minister of Transport Wayne Furbert are holding a press conference today [Nov 15] to “discuss their respective ministries’ initiatives, as outlined in the Speech from the Throne”. We will have additional information later on, and in the meantime the live video is below.

Update Nov 15, 2.30pm: Minister Furbert’s full statement follows below:

Today, I am pleased to provide the details and essential components of the Ministry of Transport’s Throne Speech Initiatives announced last Friday 3rd of November. These initiatives notably include the introduction of a Digital Fare Media system and the continuation of the harmonization and modernization of public service vehicle industry.

Let me first provide you with an overview of the Digital Fare Media System we are set to implement. This cutting edge system will replace traditional paper tickets with modern, contactless methods such as smart cards and mobile applications. The core of this transformation lies in leveraging technology to simplify the process of using public transportation and making it more accessible and user friendly for all.

The Digital Fare Media System will streamline the payment process, reducing boarding times and enhancing the overall efficiency of our public transportation services. This, in turn, will contribute to a more punctual and reliable transit system. By adopting a digital payment system, we are poised to see a significant improvement in revenue collection.

The transparency and traceability of digital transactions will minimize the chances of revenue leakage, ensuring that every dollar rightfully contributes to the development of our transportation infrastructure.

Going digital means a reduction in paper usage and, consequently, a positive impact on our environment. This aligns with our commitment to sustainable practices and environmental conservation, contributing to a cleaner, greener Bermuda. The people of Bermuda and our visitors will experience the ease of seamless travel without the hassle of carrying physical tickets or exact change.

The Digital Fare Media System allows for cashless transactions, enabling commuters to pay for their rides using smart cards or mobile apps, making public transportation more accessible to all. The implementation of this system will empower commuters with real time information on routes, schedules, and service updates by way of a GPS system. This ensures that the people of Bermuda and visitors can plan their journeys more efficiently, reducing waiting times and uncertainties.

The Digital Fare Media System is designed to be inclusive, catering to people of all ages and backgrounds. We are committed to ensuring that technology does not create barriers but rather acts as a tool to unite and simplify the lives of our people and of course visitors alike. This is not just a technological upgrade; it is a commitment to the future of transportation in Bermuda. As we embrace innovation, we are laying the foundation for a more efficient, sustainable, and a people centric public transportation system that will benefit us all.

Over the past years, the Ministry of Transport has been steadfast and dedicated to the harmonization and modernization of the public service vehicles industry. The persistent challenges within the industry have endured for numerous years. It is imperative to synchronize Bermuda’s transportation system with current standards and best practices. This commitment of change is rooted in the pursuit of a more efficient, accessible, and forward looking transportation system that will undoubtedly enhance the lives of our residents and visitors as well.

Immediately upon my appointment as the Minister of Transport I engaged the Taxi industry by meeting with various stakeholders including individual taxi owners. We discussed the long outstanding topic of Taxi rates and the relevant increases. Deliberations have followed and it is the intent to finally address this matter. The outstanding issue now demands immediate attention and decisive action.

Let me make two things abundantly clear, firstly, the proposed changes are not designed to devalue permits or devalue any public service vehicle business model. The value of a public service vehicle or business is contingent upon the forces of the free market and influenced by economic indicators at the time of a purchase or sale. Secondly, the objective for the taxi rates is to have an increase before the next season begins.

The goal of harmonization is not a solitary endeavor; it requires collaboration. We have actively engaged with industry stakeholders and relevant associations, to garner insights and perspectives. Through open dialogue and cooperative efforts, we are fostering an environment where all parties contribute to the development of policies that serve the best interests of the public. Modernization is not merely about embracing technology; it is about making transportation more accessible and user friendly.

This inclusivity driven approach is designed to improve the overall experience for individuals with diverse needs and preferences. A robust and modern transportation system is integral to economic prosperity. By fostering a conducive environment for the public service vehicles industry, we anticipate increased economic activity, job creation, and improved visitor experiences.

This, in turn, will have a positive ripple effect on the livelihoods of our people. Through all of the initiatives just mentioned, we are not only addressing immediate challenges but also laying the groundwork for a sustainable and technologically advanced future. Together, let us embrace this transformative journey towards a better connected and more prosperous Bermuda.

Thank you.

Update Nov 15, 2.50pm: Minister Hayward’s full statement follows below:

Following the November 3rd Speech from the Throne, the Ministry of Economy and Labour remains committed to the plans and initiatives that will continue to serve the people of Bermuda. I am happy to share the Ministry’s priorities over the upcoming parliamentary session.

The public will recall the Ministry of Economy and Labour releasing the position paper Addressing the Challenge of an Ageing Population in Bermuda in September 2022. This document outlined the Government’s position on the demographic challenges of an ageing population. It highlighted current statistics showing that Bermuda’s total population and demographic profile are working against our economy.

Data analysis from the 2016 – 2026 Population Projections highlighted the reality of Bermuda’s declining birth rate. The steady decline of our population is negatively impacting Bermuda’s economic performance. At the current rate of decline, Bermuda’s working population will not be able to sustain the current economy. Therefore, we must address this challenge through a targeted effort to retain our existing workforce and resident population while attract new residents.

In line with the 2024 Speech from the Throne and the Economic Development Strategy, to address this challenge, the Ministry of Economy and Labour will seek to provide benefits to businesses that retain able-bodied, capable workers beyond the age of 65.

The Ministry will also commission research to understand better what motivates Bermudians to leave and what might entice them to return. Once completed and with this information in hand, the Ministry will make an aggressive and targeted effort to encourage Bermudians studying or living abroad to return home to reside and work, which will ultimately support our economy.

To help retain current work permit holders residing in Bermuda, the Legislature will also consider amending the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act 1956. A policy paper on this initiative will be released for public consultation.

The Speech from the Throne also states that a cross-functional partnership between the Ministry of Economy and Labour and the Ministry of National Security will strengthen the Department of Immigration’s Compliance Section. Plans are underway to form a task force of mid to senior-level officers from the Bermuda Police Service with strong investigative and interviewing skills alongside Senior Inspectors from the Department of Immigration.

Rather than the sole reliance upon the public to report breaches, the task force will be commissioned to visit employment sites to assess workers’ status and address complaints and potential violations against the Act.

The Speech from the Throne states that executing the Government’s Economic Development Strategy and the continued delivery of the Economic Recovery Plan has laid the foundation for economic growth.

Capital investment is critical to grow Bermuda’s economic assets. Attracting investment across multiple sectors creates a more diverse economy, increasing economic resilience and employment opportunities. We must create an environment in Bermuda that strengthens our ability to compete and attract investments.

We must be able to attract external investors and enable continued investment by those businesses already domiciled on island.

To accomplish this, the Bermuda Business Development Agency will pivot toward an investment promotion agency, attracting new business to Bermuda which has become a critical part of the overall Strategy. The Business Development Agency will continue its focus on attracting businesses in the areas of Asset Management, Climate Risk Finance, High Net-Worth Services, Infrastructure, Insurance and Risk and Technology to Bermuda, providing a means for new job creation and increased tax revenue, greater levels of competition, new products and services and economic expansion.

From increasing Bermuda’s working population, enhancing our ability to address employment violations, the continued execution of the Government’s Economic Development Strategy and the delivery of the Economic Recovery Plan, these initiatives will serve as a platform to achieve the Government’s economic aims as we continue working to serve the people of Bermuda and create a sustainable economy for all.

Thank you.

click here Bermuda 2023 Throne Speech

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Comments (5)

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  1. Joe Bloggs says:

    The PLP Government appears to be in full election mode.

  2. Steve says:

    Sounds like it

  3. Steve says:


  4. Ringmaster says:

    It’s the only thing they excel at.

  5. Wassabi says:

    You have both received big paychecks and received many travel and other perks for years now. How about you remind us of how you fulfilled your last promises and made your ministries more efficient and better. Tell us what you did to earn your last paycheck.

    The ministry of transportation is a mess. Who cares what new technology you are going to introduce so that I can pay for my bus ride if you can’t ensure that the buses will even be there . What are we on now….18 years waiting for a new bus schedule?

    Let me guess, you want to issue new tech so that someone will get either a processing fee (percentage) of each fare and / or a nice annual support contract.

    It would save us more to make bus and ferries free and put all the money that we would spend on developing digital tickets software, servers, support contracts and IT staff as well as saving what we currently spend on printing tickets, tokens, transfers, ticketing machines, student bus passes, tokens, cashiers at bus and ferry terminals, accounts staff, banking fees and so on.

    Stop implementing things to save money and hiding the true and long term coats

    Tell me what you two did last year, last three years and so on and stop telling us what you promise to do.

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