First It Was The Used Car Industry, The PSV Sector Maybe Next

The problems created by PSVs have been with us for decades and the situation is deteriorating by the day. It is a sector built on the backs of Black people, although in the last ten to fifteen years we have observed a shift in ownership to the wealthy and prominent who operate behind the mask of limited liability companies.

The government promised when it assumed office to establish the Transport Authority – and it has – an umbrella entity to bring efficiency to the national transportation system. To be honest after three years of a Democratic Labour Party government can anyone say that the PSV situation has improved? The industry is in a mess!

The sector is poorly self-regulated. The Courts of Barbados are not able to efficiently enforce the law because of the systemic problem of congestion in case management. The government by its lethargic approach to regulating sector continues to perpetuate the same practiced by the previous government. In a nutshell the issues with the sector can be linked to known corruption.

If we are to believe the word making the rounds underground – a group of wealthy entrepreneurs will be rolling out a new bus service within the next few weeks. If we understand correctly the buses are already on island located at the complex of a popular car dealership owned by one of Barbados’ wealthy businessmen. How the Transport Authority will allocate routes to the entity if it becomes a reality is left to be seen.

What we know for sure – if wealthy entrepreneurs enter the private transportation system in Barbados they will do so with guarantees. Can anyone guess who will laugh all the way to the bank? Under the previous government the used car industry was destroyed, under this government we maybe seeing the demise of a sector with a dominant Black ownership.

Successive governments by their greed and corrupt behaviour allowed the private transportation to fester and now it has turned into a ‘liesore’. We have all heard stories about the free for all issuance of permits by Johnny Tudor, Gline Clarke and others. Some insist these permits were not approved out of an adherence to the application process. Why would this government not get off their asses and fix the problem to protect a large Black middleclass?  Instead it seems to be taking the easy way out by opting to go the ‘throw your hands in the air’ approach. Commonsense says that this is a low hanging issue the government could have used to deflect criticism on the economic issues.

We have not even touched on the harm this sector has done through its contribution to laying a foundation to a subculture which has become mainstream for many in our youth population. The time has come for citizens, NGOs and other likeminded stakeholders to haul our society back from the precipice of disaster. Minister John Boyce earns a failing grade on the lack of a ‘working’ public transportation system after three years in office.

  • Are you surprised at the outcome? Black people are good at dreaming up good business opportunities and starting businesses. But there is where the story ends. The supermarket business in Barbados is a classic example. Remember Shamrock? Rollock’s Five & Ten (Nickle & Dime) was an early Department store in Barbados with escalators. Many of the “big’ shops on Roebuck Street were owned by black people. Where are they today. The retail business (easy margins) is now primarily controlled by non-blacks but with 99% black consumers. The fast food outlets are mainly owned by non-blacks; a business that is contributing to the rapid deterioration of the health of the black population and slow, but lethal, destruction of the black race.

    You can bet that the PSV business will end up in the hands of non-blacks (primarily East Indian) with the blacks working for them as good house servants as in the days of old for the white people. These uncouth and unkempt black boys on the ZRs will now pull their socks up and know their station in life.

    What a shame!

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  • The persons who stand to lose the most, that is those who have to struggle to operate these buses need to come together and let the government feel their power.

    They might not be able to strike not even an entire day because some have the loan institutions to repay, but what they can all do is start their service at 7:00 am for a week. I don’t think they will lose too much money, because at 7:00 in the morning there will be so many commuters on the roads of Barbados that the government would have to stop turning a blind eye.

    So many workers will get to work late the other private sector companies would start to pressure government to do something about it.

    One of the biggest concerns of this sector is workers, as they have to continue to choose from a pool of unruly drivers and conductors. Something needs to be done to bring about change.

    7:00 am next week. Government will bring about change.

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  • @All… So, then, just wondering…

    Since we all paid so much money for “lay-away lanes” for those public service vehicles to get out of our way which they never use.

    Might we be able to drive past the Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) without risking our lives?

    Empirically… No….

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  • There is some culpability to be shared by the owners of the PSV sector who we still accept to be still majority Black. The fact that after all these years the sector has been unable to have a vibrant regulating body speaks to the confusion and lack of leadership in the sector.

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  • A shame indeed, but they (the PSV sector) only have themselves to blame for behaving so disgustingly to begin with. And the owners should have been held responsible ages ago.
    I depend on public transportation sometimes and if it is true that there is a new bus service I would welcome and support it without hesitation. I support Black businesses, but I will never support Black dysfunction. Only a small minority of the PSV operators are decent and law abiding. I know who they are and will continue to support them when I can.

    Apart from the PSV’s though, many regular everyday drivers on the roads of Barbados drive in the most disgusting manner and that also needs to be addressed immediately. There is just this terrible indiscipline and lawlessness on the roads of Barbados, not just with the PSV’s – so the problem on our roads won’t necessarily go way just because they (i.e. the PSV’S) go away.

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  • I’ve always said that before granting a PSV license to ZR and Minibus drivers, they should be required to undertake a training stint driving around David Seale’s (Sir) and others horse boxes. Have you ever driven behind one of these horsebox trailers and noticed how careful and tender these drivers are with their precious animal cargo on board? How many accidents or near misses have you seen these trailers involved in?
    Sort of reminds me of those old days of the precision manicured plantation sweet lime fence,all done with manual tools,but check the bush and grass around the home of the same person who was responsible for clipping that great house fence..

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  • Someone once said that a Statesman looks after the next generation,while the politician looks after the next election,and this is so very true in Barbados. The Minister and members of the government haven’t got the balls to really deal effectively with the indiscipline we see so prevalent among the PSV’s ,Transport Board now included, because they do not want to loose the vote that may make them redundant. But when they are chucked out of office or end up on the opposition bench, then and only then, do they have all the answers. Not only is there a blatant disregard for the good discipline of law and order on our highways by other classes of drivers,but Motor Vehicle construction and use Regulations,or what ever they are called in Barbados, are being dangerously and commonly compromised everyday . Ear splitting motor cycle and car exhaust systems,not only during the day, but in the early hours of the morning. Vehicle lighting systems on many vehicles, has now become a do-as -you -please affair. We are seeing Blue auxiliary lights,and I am not referring to the blue bright headlamps,showing to the front of vehicle, which at times could be mistaken for a police vehicle.Many cars now are fitted with red front side lamps,very dangerous,as at dusk time the front of such cars with these light on,without headlamps, can be mistaken for the rear. Many drivers no longer dip their headlamps, as the law requires ,and as a matter of courtesy and safety.
    We have the Police, Transport Authority,Licensing Authority, Ministry of Public Works and Transport, the General Public, yet still these undesirable things have remained with us for the past 20+ years. Are we really spinning Top in Mud or just Hiding our Heads in the sand? . In the year 2525, if man is still alive,….. we will find ourselves in the same position,……. Number 2

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  • @Colonel Buggy: “We are seeing Blue auxiliary lights,and I am not referring to the blue bright headlamps,showing to the front of vehicle, which at times could be mistaken for a police vehicle.

    A few Friday’s ago I witnessed a SUV with a singular police light on its roof forcing it’s way through a round-about.

    I have reason to believe this was not a police vehicle (based on the licence plate number, and the three men and one woman laughing within the vehicle).

    Where is the RBPF?

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  • If we understand what is happening the same drivers have to be recycled because the insurance ask for a minimum number of years experience.

    How can new drivers get in with this stipulation?

    It seems backward in light of the problems we have with PSV drivers.

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  • Colonel Buggy
    Man dem fellas could get a stint drivin de G.G, when dem get in de PSV culture, all de disciplin gone tru de shoot. Goes wid de territory. De Transport got it fair share a uncouth road-hogs too dat seem ta tink dat de road belong ta dem. Dem is highway-maguffys too. But I kno one a dem drivers at Transport Board dat real sexy, tall, slim n hansum Buggy. Jess how I like dem. I wood park my car any day jess ta drive pun de bus wid he. He name Basil, a ex BDF soldier. Buggy, tawk bout sexyyyyyyy. My gawdddd. But i only ketchin de bus when/ef he drivin ya kno?

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