Submitted by William Skinner

Ideas & SuggestionsAs we approach fifty years of Independence, we are plagued with a number of issues, which to my thinking reveals great failings of both the Democratic Labour Party and the Barbados Labour Party administrations. One of these is the poor management of the public transportation system.


We are therefore confronted daily, with an essentially indisciplined private transport system, in the form of the mini-buses/Zrs and a publicly owned Transport Board that is incapable of providing the needed services at any acceptable level.

Of course, our response to such a dilemma is to glorify the so-called “mini bus culture” and to instruct mini bus drivers to wear uniforms. On the other hand the mini bus drivers are seeking increase in bus fares and want to be given sole responsibility for transporting school children. We have this amazing ability to look at a problem and come up with solutions that don’t solve the problem. We then declare the problem solved and move on! It is an incredibly effective way of destroying a country.

Our economic growth is being severely hampered because of a poor public transport system and it is time we consider moving people faster. An effective rail transport could very well be a significant part of the solution. Many will consider our size and physical lay out to be problematic but the increasing number of vehicles on our roads, which is leading to constant gridlock, requires bold solutions. Far from being a deterrent, our small size might be an advantage. Consideration should be given to small environment friendly trains leaving depots from Speightstown and Oistins and travelers disembarking at or near Bridgetown. Drivers could park their cars and head into Bridgetown from strategically located train stations.

This is not the first time that such a suggestion has been made. However as we examine the chaos that is now rampant, we need positive visionary solutions. We cannot honestly believe that more buses will solve the problem for the next fifty years. It is high time that we have a national consultation on ways to solve our public transportation issues.

The daily problems with our water supply, is the result of lazy and non effective government planning. If we had embarked on a massive replacement of old pipes twenty five years ago; we would not now be replacing leaking underground pipes that are approaching a hundred plus years old. Why did we not address garbage disposal thirty years ago? We are grappling with these problems because we came up with lame solutions and fooled ourselves that the problems had been solved. Similarly, failure to fully examine the public transport system, twenty years ago, has resulted in the mayhem we have today.

Imagine the next two generations approaching one hundred years of independence and the same problems confronting them. Do we really want them to inherit a bigger mess than what we are daily with now?

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12 Comments on “#BoldIdeasNeeded”

  1. Anthony Davis October 12, 2015 at 3:53 AM #

    With regard to the water problem – how much of our water do the hotels use? Why do we need “more, bigger hotels” – especially of the all-inclusive kind? I have never heard any hotel crying out that it is lacking water, although some of them have two or three bars, two or three swimming pools, tennis court, and golf clubs. I am for a moratorium on hotels – especially the all-inclusives because they do not bring anything for those outside of the relevant hotel as everything is paid up front, and the guests do not have to leave their ivory towers for anything – hence the taxis, stand-alone restaurants, bars, clothing sellers, etc. do not get a look in. Sue Springer says that we need more and bigger hotels, but i am against that for two reasons. 1) The more hotels that are built, the less beach-front we have left for ourselves as Government does not seem to tell the owners that the beaches are ours. 2) Sue Springer can jump on a plane and leave whenever she likes if push comes to a shove – if something goes wrong with the hotel plants which causes tourists to stay away, i.e. a lack of water, or some communicable disease is brought into the country. We need land for our scions and their scions, so we should go the way the Cayman Islands go – no foreigner can buy land there, but it is rented to them. This is better than selling it to every Tom, Dick and Harry who have a couple of million dollars. Among them can be money launderers and some of the biggest bigots in the world. Why do we need to spoil Foul Bay with a condominium which will have nine six-story buildings? It will spoil the view for us and tourists alike, and neither we or the other tourists who love to visit foul Bay for a dip, or just relax, will not be able to visit there anymore, because, as far as I have heard they have been given a 17-acre beach front. This codswallop has got to stop!


  2. Gabriel October 12, 2015 at 5:21 AM #

    Blame Erskine Sandiford for our water problem then!In the 80’s an efficiently run Waterworks skillfully and professionally managed by a brilliant native son Nicky Sealy,at far cheaper rates charged,was able to bank millions of dollars for the sole purpose of replacing old mains.Along comes the JA Sandiford,blessed(some would say cursed) by EWB and anointed by Cammie,raided Nicky’s nest egg so as to give the likes of Whittaker the policeman and die hard dem(and some would say one of Barbados biggest cr….ks)some of the largest salary increases for senior public officers the country ever had,with the result that the people in St Lucy,St Peter,St James,St Andrew,St John,St Joseph,St Philip,St Thomas having water shortages today especially St Lucy,St Andrew,St Joseph bearing the brunt of the outages.So blame the JA Sandiford for the present day state of the water problems.


  3. Artaxerxes October 12, 2015 at 10:41 AM #

    “As we approach fifty years of Independence, we are plagued with a number of issues, which to my thinking reveals great failings of both the Democratic Labour Party and the Barbados Labour Party administrations. One of these is the poor management of the public transportation system.”

    Both BLP and DLP administrations are definitely responsible for “the poor management of the public transportation system.”

    Firstly, the ministers under whose portfolio the TB falls, selects a board of directors from among the party faithful or those who “canvassed” for him.

    Rather than appoint those individuals who may have the requisite qualifications in disciplines such as transport management, transport economics or logistics, as managers at the Transport Board, the Chairman, who is basically represents the Minister, will appoint (as recommended by the Minister) the party faithful to those jobs.

    Take for example the TB’s present General Manager, Sandra Forde. She is a DLP lackey whose employment background indicates she worked in a commercial bank. Under her tenure the TB has gone from “bad to worse.”

    And what is government’s explanation for her appointment? Check the TB’s web-site and you will read the following:

    “In its second year of office, on Thursday April 1st, 2010, the Democratic Labour Party CREATED HISTORY BY APPOINTING THE FIRST FEMALE, Ms. Sandra Forde, to the position of General Manager of the Transport Board, whose role it will be to lead the organisation in the 21st century.”

    Perhaps the TB’s (and by extension the government’s), only objective was to “CREATE HISTORY,” not implement systems and employ the requisite employees that would adequately manage/enhance the transport system.


  4. SuckaBubby October 12, 2015 at 7:42 PM #


    Try honesty, it’s still the best policy.


  5. Paradox October 12, 2015 at 10:30 PM #

    “As we approach fifty years of Independence, we are plagued with a number of issues, which to my thinking reveals great failings of both the Democratic Labour Party and the Barbados Labour Party administrations. One of these is the poor management of of the public transportation system………”

    Mr. Davis,You could probably list a DOZEN.

    Yes, both parties have failed the people they purported to represent; failure, failure, mismanagement, short-sightedness/blinkered vision.

    For the past 49 years we have had the opportunity to make things better for all. We elected a few who took turns to looked after themselves. They gave away our national Assets. Now we have nothing left but to beg our Colonial master for reparation, in the hope that this will make things better.

    Both parties have made promises, that ‘times will be better under their leadership’. Time and time again they have failed to deliver. It is now time for us ‘to change how things are done’. We are the people to elect them.

    We must say at the next election, this is our time; we can and will make things better.
    We must vote for a party that when we next sing “OUR” National Anthem, it means something to us; a feeling of ‘Ownership’, belongingness, pride.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ac October 13, 2015 at 8:02 PM #

    Here is a BOLD IDEA for the BLP close the country down, cause wunna got no solutions either,


  7. Gabriel October 13, 2015 at 9:52 PM #

    We need a Barbados Agenda to reform,replace,change the existing systems of governance,What use is there in electing sub standard novices who have no compunction in engaging in lawbreaking,immorality and downright disengagement with the citizenry after a victory at the polls whereby some mathematical formula of percentages the party with the most seats and the single leader of that group run the affairs of the country instead of having the Parliament responsible for running the country.Parliament should run Barbados not a corrupt DLP or BLP.Laws and conventions should inform intervention by the citizenry when there is a failure to follow acceptable and approved methods and systems of governance.Scams like Clico and Cahill would have already been the subject of a parliamentary enquiry involving the Police,the DPP,and all the actors.


  8. David October 13, 2015 at 9:56 PM #


    We need to stoke a national conversation about the crying need to implement and enforce a system of meritocracy. We simply do not hold our public officials accountable.


  9. Gabriel October 13, 2015 at 10:22 PM #

    What we have is a dysfunctional political system and a divided opposition which all technically adds up to anarchy.Why is Parliament not meeting since August or was it July.Why is the people’s business not on the frontburner.Why is the Parliament no longer accountable to the citizens.God help us with these sorry bunch of pretenders.


  10. pieceuhderockyeahright October 14, 2015 at 3:07 PM #

    @ AC

    In your post of 8.02 p.m. you said “…cause wunna got no solutions either…”

    Finally in your use of the conjunction/adverb you have come clean

    The word either is to describe an alternative and is used before the first of two (or occasionally more) alternatives that are being specified

    The other alternative being introduced by “or” as in “either I’ll accompany you to your room, or I’ll wait here”

    Or it is used to indicate a “similarity” or “link” with a statement just made as in “you don’t like him, do you? I don’t, either” or, more specifically “Here is a BOLD IDEA for the BLP close the country down, AS WE IN THE DLP ARE DOING, IN OUR MANDATE ASSIGNED TO US BY THE ENEMIES OF BULBADOS, cause wunna got no solutions EITHER.

    CLASS DISMISSED!! (Do not worry to come for your paper with your marks AC you have scored your customary “F”

    This is a true story,

    During the late 50’s, the village idiot was explaining to their inbred parents why they had gotten an “F” on every subject on their report card and why the next door neighbour’s chile had only secured As and Bs.

    As de ole man lives, dat boy, who son is now a Permanent Secretary, said to he parents “Ma and Pa F is for “fantastic”, but “B’s” is for “Bad” and “A’s mean dat dem chile is always absent from classes…


  11. ac October 14, 2015 at 4:31 PM #

    could not careless ole man what you read or how you interpret my comment. simply put The word “either ” was an overlapping of the word or a replay of the context to enhance the customary tune of “no solutions ” the BLP has been saying about the govt and to underscore that the BLP was out of their league in addressing the economic woes of this country.
    Unfortunately in your boggled mind as usual you Either misinterpret the message from ac as well as who is the messenger,


  12. Deryck L. Gittens October 19, 2015 at 9:35 AM #

    It is a privilege to own a vehicle not a right. To improve the service of transporting the public across the island, the government should look into smaller buses to travel to the country side. Park and ride could be set up at certain points on the waste land here. The time has come also for the government to start researching how to implement tolls for vehicles being driven between parishes. The public will cry at this concept, but by doing so would enable revenue to be created which can assist in the upkeep of the roads, while allowing the authorities to monitor persons travelling on the roads in Barbados who are in compliance with the laws. Law enforcement could be set up at these tolls booths to assist. The time has come for the transportation authorities to start creatively thinking, what can be done to facilitate an efficient way of transportation the public of Barbados, while at the same instilling Order and Discipline on the roads, for all travelers.


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