Pay the $3.50 or Alternatively Drink the Poison
“A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.”
The blogmaster continues to listen to the fury in the feedback by Barbadians triggered by government’s decision to increase bus fare to $3.50. After more than four decades has the national discussion changed about the state of public transport and the burgeoning sub culture which accompanies it changed?
On the 10 April 2019 Chairman of the Transport Authority Ian Estwick reminded the country a ‘bariffle’ of permits were issued in the last days of the last government. Minister Michael Lashley was the former minister responsible. The political partisans will need reminding that a similar event occurred when the last BLP government demitted office with Ministers Johnny Tudor and Gline Clarke wantonly approving PSV permits.
In summary, Eswick shared numbers to advise that about 53% of 735 valid permits as at 08 April 2019 issued to PSVs are concentrated on SEVEN routes (Bank Hall -38, Speightown -32, Silver Sands -99, Silver Hill -65, Redman Village -59, Jackson -45, Fairy Valley -49).
In a nutshell the foregoing vividly supports what Barbadians should know. The mismanagement and politicization of the Transport Board by successive administrations has catapulted the country to where we are mired today.
In a nutshell the foregoing vividly supports what the Barbadians know. The mismanagement and politicization of the Transport Board by successive administrations has catapulted to where we are today. This repeat was no error.
There is more to tell about the current state of the transportation sector.
Barbadians have been complicit in the demise of the transportation system. Whether it is found in the passive response to former minister Rommell Marshall going against accepted tendering policy by approving a sweet deal with CGI insurance company. David Thompson approving a political gimmick to allow free bus ride for school children. And common to both parties, employing the most incompetent actors to manage the Transport Board. The last General Manger Sandra Forde rushes to the mind. Several other examples can be listed to support the view that the mismanagement of the Transport Board is a continuum.
It is disgusting – to put it mildly – to have to listen to the political talking heads from all sides pretending to be so concerned about the effect the fare hike will have on the travelling public. To watch the tours of the bus stands to benefit from the anti hike bus fare sentiment is most disingenuous.
The morass we have created in the transportation sector is a symptom of the bigger predicament we find ourselves, so spare us the ‘esoteric’ analysis. The poor must be protected, a non point. Continuing to conflate many issues triggered by the fare hike is an embarrassment to a 90% plus literate country fighting above its weight class country.
We are in dark place and to fix it will require the country to suffer some pain. How long the suffering will continue will be up to us. We agree that commonsense should tell us it cannot be business as usual.
Time to pick our poison!