(Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News)
The public, via a survey that was launched in June, indicated interest in a public bus service. Now, in furtherance of the effort to institute such a service, it was announced that 12 routes have been identified and efforts to have bus stops/shelters have commenced.
The Ministry of Transportation, Works, and Utilities launched a survey to determine if there was a need for a public bus service. The survey was titled “Understanding Your Transportation Needs.” Now that the survey has closed and the results interpreted, Minister Kye Rymer noted that his Ministry has gone into formalizing the requested service.
While speaking on the Honestly Speaking With Claude Skelton-Cline programme on September 10, the Minister said, “From the survey it’s a service that is necessary. We’ve seen where a lot of persons said that they need it. We have already defined that we have 12 different routes within our Territory.”
Hon. Rymer explained that the service would be privately run with Governmental oversight.
“The decision would be then that this is not a service that the Government would be owning...The plan is to make sure we have this service for the people of the Territory,” he noted.
The Minister said that the implementation of the service is moving forward.
He announced, “The next stage we’re going to get an input as to if we are going to tender out the service or the routes.” This decision, the Minister noted, would be made through public consultation.
According to Hon. Rymer, the Ministry is aware that there is an informal public transportation in the form of the private buses that ply the East End route. However, he said that the aim is to add other features to make the service formal.
“The issue is, especially the route from East End, we have a lot of different persons that offer service at this stage so we are planning to make sure that it’s timed, that it’s a reliable service and persons will have a published schedule, so you can know definitely that a bus is coming and one is leaving,” the Minister said.
It was further noted that bus fares will be decided by the Government to ensure uniformity of what the public is charged for the service.
“The Government will regulate the service.”
Further, the Minister explained that persons wont be able to take luggage and bulky items on the public bus.
“The taxi service would still have its role to play, which is quite an important role.”
As it relates to bus stops and sheds, the Minister noted that an Expression of Interest went out.
“We had an Expression of Interest, we sent that out for persons if they are interested in owning or erecting a bus shelter for the bus stop. That is something that you can own, you can advertise, you can have additional services there.”