Transportation Feedback

Submitted Ready Done

Last night I was in the Fairchild street bus terminal and low and behold the entrance still has not been fixed. It has been in the current state for more than 10 years. It seems there was a serious attempt to fix it about three weeks ago. Instead, the first gate now not accessible, reducing overall passenger flow by one third. The nation’s leaders are currently saying the working class is lazy and unproductive, the average bus traveler spends 2 hours a day in the bus terminal, this translates to 10 hours a week or about 21 full days of a year sitting in the bus terminal. What a unproductive use of time.

The design of the lower green bus stand is a joke on poor people at best, what is that? There is no shelter from the elements and one has to wait extremely long hours for a bus. If we are asking for an increase in productivity the authorities have to provide the framwork . There are many ways this can be done, I think the buses on route should have GPS functionality on their Facebook page so that we can see realtime where the buses are located and the bus terminal should have a LED display stating the next departure time. You can even re-purpose the old LEDs from the unused buses for this job.

The most obvious place where there is room for improvement is in the gathering of information about the needs of the traveling public. In 2005 the General Manager David Jean-Marie stated, “This new ticketing system is fast, accurate and reliable and brings together powerful, electronic ticketing equipment with an integrated software package, which allows the Board to generate reports to facilitate wide-ranging management decisions. In addition, it will also afford the Board the opportunity to closely monitor its ridership patterns and thereby increase its operating efficiencies as it relates to productivity, allocation of routes and disbursement of buses while also improving on the productivity of ancillary departments.”

I wonder how long it will it take for people on this island to use commonsense. the Wayfarer System of ticketing was clearly implemented without consulting the bus drivers, the people who have to operate it.  My crude observation is that it has the potential to be a big help for the transport board but currently it is just a burden. My research on the Internet revealed that 29 ticketing systems cost 10,000 pounds or $30,000 Bajan.  I don’t know how many buses have this system installed, it is therefore difficult to say how much taxpayers paid for a useless technology.

The challenge is that to get accurate information about customer travel habits.  The driver will have to ask ALL passengers where they want to disembark which makes no sense. If the drivers were involved from the start I believe the system would better designed – i.e. record the on/off stops and time of the traveling public. This way you would have an accurate reading of the number of buses needed. The management is guessing when they should be seriously gathering information. Case in point I was traveling from Bridgetown to Baird’s Village (the Aquaponic farm) but look what the ticket shows. I want to point out though the bus did come and departed on time.

25 comments

  • What good is a ticket if it does not say where you are going to? SMH What a waste of technology. The destination signs on the buses are sometimes so wrong. Imagine taking a bus in St. Lucy to Speightstown and the bus has a sign saying St. Clements/or Connell Town. Stupse we ent reddy AT ALL.

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  • St George's Dragon

    Didn’t I hear that the ticketing system had been scrapped?

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  • @Island gal and Ready done.
    why don’t you people stop complaining. I have used the bus system in Toronto for all the time I lived there, and was back there up to last month. Nowhere does your ticket say where you are going. I have two tickets in My wallet now, and all it says is that it is a ticket for senior and/or student. We have it good here in Barbados. Exercise patience and understanding.The important thing is that the bus”came and departed on time” and you got home safely. Those are the things that aare important. In Toronto, on my bus route, there is a 24 hour service, and I have often gotten up at two in the morning and looked out my window at the bus passing, on time, but without any passengers. It is efficient, even though I know it is not making money at that time, but passengers have the convenience of a bus when they need it regardless of the time, morning noon or night.And the bus company gets subsidies every year.

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  • Some years ago I was on a training course in a US City. The training that day ended about 3.30 pm, and many of us decided to go to the mall a few miles away. As we stepped aboard the bus around 4 pm , the driver warned us that that was the last bus of the day.
    In the days when the Transport Board was being run by ‘foolish people’, they employed field supervisors (cannot recall what they were called) whose job it was to patrol the many routes, with cars; observe the build up of commuters, and make request for supplementary transport if there were a build up of commuters on any route. I knew of one private concessionaire who personally would monitor his buses during the peak period,and assigned additional,buses, even if he, himself had to drive one.
    By now the Transport Board should have a good idea, of the average number of passengers who use their buses at any given time.

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  • @ alvin cummins, I wish you had to use the bus service and bus stand, because clearly you don’t. I hope you are not being serious.

    Quick question, you say you is catch Toronto buses, do you catch our buses? if so why not? If you are just going to be complaining about me complaining then its best you say nothing. I hope the next thing you write here is for the betterment of the majority of tax payers.

    Your mind set is what is wrong with Barbados, I pointed out where there is room for improvement and all you say I complaining, without adding anything, thepeice is not even a complaint, just facts from my point of view, if you want productivity show productivity, wow, so there is nutting wrong with spending my money to referbish hotels but to spend $1000 of my money to fix the bus stand is a issue.

    By now the transport should have a good idea of the passengers who use there busses, so we don’t have to check? We got the technology to account for every person using the busses but we gin left it up to what the management think is enough. This is 2013 we got the technology why not use it now? Then the next thing that gin happen is bus fare gin go up.

    I personally want to see Barbados at it best and I am not going to stop what I doing.

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  • Minister of Transport has announced that the government will have to buy or lease buses soon. Oh well!

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  • Just to clear up my point, The ticket does not have to say where i am going. that is not the important part. that is how the system is currently set up.

    The way it should be set up is to mark the exact bus stop and time that passengers get on and off. With that information then you put that information on a map of barbados that you can visualize the actual requirements in real time.

    Then using that information on the map you should be able to plan more effective routes and more effective time.

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  • Someone beat me to it.

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  • @ready done

    Alvin is an apologist. We all know you try to be solution oriented with your contributions.

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  • This is a better explanation of the map i am talking about.

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  • If the government put out a contract for the local programer that writes the best program to do this job for a modest $6000 i sure it would get done.

    And lets not forget the point that the bus terminal still in a state of disrepair, that it should never be in on the grounds of public safety.

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  • This action against outdoor business by the DLP Government and the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry is a percursor for other intended actions of these people to keep the broad masses and midldle classes in /virtual poverty in oppression and subjugation in this country.

    These people must be fought against with ALL the might and strategy and cunning of the leaders of those who have come from within and without the masses and middle classes of people in this country and who wish to see a brighter and better Barbados.

    Remove the DLP BLP and other oppressors!!

    PDC

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  • k@ ready done

    i agree with you. I use mainly buses when I am on the island. the cheapside bus stand is a disgrace. No shelter from sun/rain, and no seats. the City Circle is mostly late. I had to wait one day for an hour and a half with fish. I am surprised they did not rot.

    Several tourists were complaining about getting back to their hotels in Hastings for lunch. I guess they were at one of the all inclusives and did not want to buy ans expensive sandwich in town.

    With regard to the ticketing system, my ticket here shows the time you board and where (the stop). It also shows the time of expiry. We can use our tickets to transfer to other buses and even to come back home on the same fare. they are good for two hours. For the Board to know when a specific passenger disembarks and where, the system would have to be capable of receiving the said tickets when the passengers get off. They would have to feed the ticket back into the machine.

    Now if they had the “pass system” that we also have, they would tap it on the screen when they get on and again when they leave. This woiuld give the required information for planning purposes.

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  • Anybody knows who are the members of the Transport Board ?

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  • ReadyDone please always remember that Alvin is a fossil. What you are saying makes plenty sense.

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  • Sunshine Sunny Shine

    The Barbados Public Transport system is absolutely ridiculous and appalling. I think Barbadians settle too much for mediocrity and poor standards. I wonder if Barbadians know what high quality is all about. Your government, both past and present, have wasted a lot of money in areas where that money could have been spent on proper road planning, transportation, waste disposal and health care. It is really sad to see my island not moving to the next level of their development.

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  • DR. THE HONOURABLE

    Dems are experts at spin , Should be advising the West Indies Cricket Team . It would be beneficial to the team and to the region. They seem to be continuously blaming others for everything else that happens

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  • Who be dis Alvin Cummins person?

    I would wish to add the verb dottined and talibanned to professor Richard Alsopp’s dictionary of Caribbean words

    There is a time for everything and given the junk some people talk/write here I feel that they should be talibanned with extreme prejudice

    Not banned, Baffy, talibanned, whu you feel?

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  • Why are Bus Stops – the pole and sign necessary ???
    Cant we save some money here by allowing people to catch the bus in areas convenient to them
    Why do we need to dot the landscape with these obsolete things?

    JUST ASKING

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  • Here’s an amusing tale from a Canadian visitor about old people on buses in Barbados and our curious “To City” and “Out Of City” bus stops! http://www.thewesternstar.com/Blog-Article/b/24436/Old-people-on-buses

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  • A cut and paste of the article mentioned above.

    If you asked me what I like most about Barbados, you might expect me to talk about the beaches, or the lush vegetation, or the hospitable culture, or the serious interest in cricket (the sport, not the insect, though I find the latter far more interesting to watch). Or maybe you’d think I’d refer to the ready access to local rum products at discount prices. But none of those are my favourite thing about Barbados. No, it’s a bit more complicated than that.
    My favourite Bajan (Barbadian) sight is old people on buses. OK, that might take a bit of explaining. I’ve been riding buses here a fair bit. For a buck (Canadian) you can go from one tip of the country to the other.
    Nothing brings a smile to my face as assuredly as being on the bus and having some old people to watch. When they get on, they are always slow. Each step up a victory. The first step is the hello to the driver. One more step and they look around the bus and laugh and greet others they know. The third step and they lean on the collection box and laugh about their infirmities. They get out their wallet and ever so carefully insert their fare. Then they sit down, with drama and flare. Of course, the bus will not leave until all are seated.
    All the while they are carrying on conversations with others. Their faces etched with character, they are often dressed impeccably. Men in pressed long-sleeved shirts with ties that stand out in stark contrast to the pattern of the shirt. Women with cheerful hats that one would see worn at a coronation or a royal garden party. Or a punk show.
    They are such bearers of culture and a way of life, you’ve got to enjoy them. There is laughter in their eyes. When the soul can no longer get the feet to dance, it gets the eyes to do it.
    By the way, there are just two directions on the buses of Barbados – “out of city” and “to city.” (“City” refers to the capital city of Bridgetown.) We could use that in NL signage. The provincial government is cutting everything else, why not get rid of the four directions and go with just two? It would be far more efficient. “Out of town” and “to town.”
    Kind of has a ring of familiarity to it, doesn’t it?

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  • David | August 16, 2013 at 1:01 AM |
    Minister of Transport has announced that the government will have to buy or lease buses soon. Oh well!
    …………………………………………………………………………………..
    It beats me that after almost 60 years of operation that the Government of Barbados has not seen it fit to establish a Base Workshop, where buses after 10/15 years service can be given a new lease of life via refurbishment,in light of the fact that we no longer obtain durable buses ,like in the 1960’s/70 ,capable of 25 years service.

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  • good post ready done

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  • Once purchasing is done, what transport will probably be used to obtain returning and forth to do or school my website car will give you
    freedom to be effective on his or her own initiative.

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