PSV OWNERS RESPOND TO BARBADOS TODAY EDITORIAL “GREED AT ANY SPEED”

Press Release from Association of Public Transport Operators (APTO)

When the Association of Public Transport Operators (APTO) and the Alliance of Owners of Public Transport (AOPT) held discussions with Government in July last year about the poor financial condition of the PSV sector, specifically minibuses and route taxis, they presented a case for an increase in the bus fare charged to commuters, citing the steady increase in operating costs since the previous increase in January 2011 and in particular, the additional heavy financial burden placed on the sector by the introduction of the fuel tax of forty cents per litre on diesel in July last year.

At that meeting, Government’s position was that while it understood the need for a fare increase, it was not prepared to grant any increase in bus fare unless measures were put in place to halt the indiscipline of PSV operators on the roads and the flouting of traffic laws. Government identified the competitive conditions of operation of the sector, created by the lease payment and the percentage payment systems in use as the major causes of this indiscipline and suggested that order on the roads among PSV operators could not be achieved unless those payment systems were eliminated and a flat pay system instituted. The representative associations were tasked to present proposals to Government whereby discipline on the road by PSV operators could be achieved as a condition of an increase in bus fare.

At that meeting, the representatives of the sector had originally presented a case for an increase in the fare to $3, but after hearing the Government’s conditions, including a flat pay system, put forward that it would only become financially viable if the bus fare was set at $3.50.

In response to Government’s challenge to the sector to justify the requested increase in bus fare not only from a financial perspective, but from that of effecting the required change in the behavior of PSV operators on the road, the two representative owners’ associations on, 16th August 2018, jointly submitted a suite of proposals, designed specifically to achieve the latter. Those proposals included inter alia:

  1. The implementation of a cashless fare collection system, which would transfer control of the business’ income from the operators to the owner.
  2. The introduction of a flat pay system for operators, which would remove the competitive element. Operators would become subject to a structured and controlled earnings environment, to the benefit of the NIS and PAYE collection agencies.
  3. The banning, by law, of audio amplification equipment from PSV’s.
  4. The banning, by law, of musical air horns.
  5. The enforcement of the wearing of an agreed uniform.
  6. Drug and alcohol testing for operators.
  7. Training in customer service as a prerequisite to obtaining a PSV driver or conductor license.
  8. Documented evidence of satisfactory performance to support badge renewals.
  9. The implementation of a demerit point system.

Collaboration between the Transport Board and the PSV representative associations in the implementation of a cashless fare collection system was discussed and it was agreed that a joint launch of the system would be desirable.

For months, despite follow up letters in September and December, 2018, there was no response from Government until, to everyone’s surprise, the increase in the fare to $3.50 was announced, with effect from 15 April 2019, without any of the provisions made in the PSV representatives’ proposal being put in place.

In the period between August 2018 and 15th April 2019, Government had put out a tender for the supply to the Transport Board of between 120 and 180 electric powered buses “on a revenue sharing basis”. It was subsequently announced that an agreement had been reached with a private sector entity for the supply of these vehicles and that the Transport Board, as a result of that agreement, would cease to be an owner and operator of motor omnibuses, but would assume a regulatory function.

Government increased the fare unilaterally, without any further consultation with the private sector owners of PSV’s or without putting in place any of the arrangements it had proposed and to which PSV owners had agreed, to stem the indiscipline on the road. The indiscipline on the road therefore continues unabated as the status quo between owners’ demands for an increased daily lease amount and the operators’ expectation of an earnings increase as a result of the increased fare remains, along with the competition among operators on the percentage payment system.

Meanwhile, commuters justifiably feel aggrieved at what is considered an unreasonable fare increase with no commensurate improvement in the quality of service provided and PSV owners and operators, as a result, continue to be vilified, subjected to constant criticism by the general public and increasing legal censure by Government for the continuation of the flouting of traffic laws by PSV operators and what has become known as the ZR culture, because of what is essentially a Government failure to implement agreed changes in the operations and regulation of the sector.

Public Service Vehicle owners cannot continue to take all the blame in silence.

Related Link:

Greed at any Speed

9 comments

  • Piece the Legend

    I an incoming Ghird party were to run on a caring platform of

    1…$3 in Busfares

    2….the introduction of transfers.

    3…the rescinding of private ownership of these buses to PSV share arrangement

    4…a functioning GPS real time bus system that let’s people know where their bus

    It would give them a good goodwill position at the Polling Stations in 2023

    Like

  • The more things changed the more they remain the same.

    Like

  • Piece the Legend

    I disagree with your statement Honourable Blogmaster.

    You said and I quote

    “…commuters justifiably feel aggrieved at what is considered an unreasonable fare increase with no commensurate improvement in the quality of service provided and PSV owners and operators…”

    I absolutely agree with you that it us the people, the travelling public who suffer because of these shenanigans

    But, UNLIKE YOU SND OTHERS HERE, I have moved forward to 2023 on the timeline WHEN THE ANTICIPATED CHANGES WILL BE EN VOGUE

    I know you cant think so fast but what I am doing is dealing with an existing structure which would have discomoded the PSV operators AND BROUGHT NO EASEMENT TO COMMUTERS AND THE WIDER VOTER COMMUNITY.

    Are you with me now?

    I know you ard sloss cause you ent your father but try to keep up here.

    So let me repeat what I said in that context of a Third Party, like Senator Caswell Franklyn’s Daffyduck party will be.

    ” 1…$3 in Busfares. BECAUSE THE FEES WOULD BE $3.50 THEN

    2….the introduction of Bus transfers. TO MAKE THE PROSPECT OF TRAVELLING ON PSVs MORE APPEALING

    3…the rescinding of private ownership of these buses to PSV share arrangement ADVOCATING THE POLITICS OF INCLUSION FOR DE POOR BAJAN MAN TO PARTICIPATE IN OWNERSHIP OF PART OF THE TRANSPORT MATRIX, LIKE ROCKLYN BUSES

    4…a functioning GPS real time bus system that let’s people know where their bus is OR USHERING IN AN EFFICIENT BUS SYSTEM FOR THE BAJAN PEOPLE AFTER THE MILLIONS OF DOLLAR WASTED ON THD SAME RH NON WORKING WAYFARER SYSTEM that your article, written by someone else, references.

    Do you COMPREHEND MY COMMENTS NOW or do you think the more things change the more they remain the same?

    It is the mediocre people like you that have Barbados where we are BECAUSE YOU TOW THE MUGABE LINE and unlike your daddy, are unwilling to force her ass to perform AND DO WHAT WE PAY HER FAT ASS TO DO.

    WE ARE NOT BEGGING HER SCVUNT FOR ANYTHING we paying she and her gut busting Parliament.

    STEUPSEEE

    Liked by 1 person

  • We are very far behind in the successful implementation of technology to improve our systems eg: the use of GPS and associated software which would allow commuters to monitor each ‘bus/van” whereabouts via their smart-phone.

    Such technology is abundant elsewhere in the world, … in small cities & even on university campuses…. and is now cost effective and available. Put our ‘smart’ graduates to work and get this system in-place……….it’s not rocket science, as they say!

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    ks at 8 :45 AM

    We know the bus is late.
    We know the bus may never come.
    We know there is no bus to come because they have not been commissioned
    And you think the solution is to set up a GPS system?
    What marks you got in your 11+ exam?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Piece the Legend

    @ KS

    It is “ROCK [ET] ” science when you are dealing with a population of ROCKS THOUGH.

    The evidence suggests that, if there has been no solution deployed to date THAT OUR PEOPLE ARE SCVUNTS AND DO NOT POSSESS THE BRAIN MATTER TO CHANGE THIS SITUATION

    Liked by 1 person

  • I can phone my bus stop number (they are numbered here) and be told if the bus is late, on time and how many minutes for it to arrive at that stop. The bus is never early. If the bus is running early, there are lay-up stops where the driver must wait to kill the time. This way no one misses the bus.

    Like

  • Our buses have wheel chair access, steps that lower for the aged and arthritic like myself, two rows of seats for the handicapped, pregnant mothers, mothers with children/strollers, and the aged. If anyone younger than me is in those seats i can ask them to remove their backsides. If they don’t, the driver will intervene. All the stops are announced. There is a clock on the bus, so if you think you will miss your connection, you just tell the driver what bus you will be transferring to and he will radio ahead. When you get to your transfer location, your next bus is waiting for you.

    Like

  • This another of those issues Barbadians have become numb.

    Like

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