Call to Account – Corruption and Mismanagement Rife @Transport Board

There is another important exercise unfolding in the Barbados Parliament. One of the most important working committees of parliament – PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE (PAC) – chaired by leader of the Opposition Reverend Joseph Atherley has been meeting to call to account the workings of the Transport Board. The revelations from the PAC so far corroborate the Auditor General’s several reports over the years – see recent Auditor General Special Audit of the Transport Board 2019. The Transport Board joins the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Barbados Water Authority and other SOEs to be deliberately mismanaged by BOTH political parties over the years to facilitate the siphoning of taxpayers dollars to feed corrupt behaviour.

 

It is good to see the PAC doing its work and carried live for the public to follow. From the number of views logged on the videos it tells a story of perennial disinterest by the general public. Truth be told the matter of a lack of civic awareness and lack of engagement in our system of democracy by Barbadians is a subject the BU family has flogged unmercifully over the years.

Some of us are quick to call for impact assessment studies; environmental, traffic, social  to be undertaken to inform important decision making by the authorities.   The blogmaster takes the opportunity to ask for another study to determine the impact of a poorly run Transport Board on the nation of Barbados about to celebrate our 53rd year of independence.

After watching the first PAC meeting on the 4th November 2019 the blogmaster decided to visit the Bridgetown river bus terminal early a morning to observe and experience first hand. The terminal has the look and feel of any public terminal, the PA system was used efficiently to inform the public when to queue at the gates.  A few private buses co-opted by the Transport Board to supplement public transport were seen doing the job. The one negative was the length of time one had to wait for a bus. The blogmaster boarded a bus at 9AM and scores of children were still in the terminal and standing at bus stops along the route waiting to be transported. The look of resignation on the young faces suggest the wait was a normal occurrence.

The mismanagement of the Transport Board and other State Owned Entities (SOEs) by successive governments have had a debilitating financial and SOCIAL impact on our people. A mismanaged Transport Board continues to contribute to the degradation of our society and the powers that be prefer to serve self interest rather than deliver on the mandate to serve the people. Something has got to give!

 

 

 

159 comments

  • fortyacresandamule

    @Artaxes. I must admit, I have no knowlege in this matter. I am flying blind here. So pardon my ignorance. It just seemed to me, on an anecdotal level, 300 buses sound large for the TB fleet, given the subfranchises in the private sector, and the growing ownership of automobiles by the household sector. Also, I lived for a few years in a way much large caribbean state than Barbados and their fleet size was 550 buses serving a metropolitan population of around 850 000 people.

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  • How many buses did the Transport Board have at its formation in 1955? I am trying to remember the five bus companies that formed the TB: Diamond(Trotman), Lincoln (Tudor), Rocklyn (Ms Rock), Coward and ?????. Did they collectively have 300 buses?
    Is this not a good subject for a history, even a PhD thesis?
    Sixty years ago a higher percentage of travellers used public transport, why is it with a lower percentage (even if real numbers have increased) is public transport posing such a problem for policy-makers?

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  • @Hal.

    You missing a key factor in your analysis and it’s what percentage of the bus fleet is off road on average daily for what ever reason over a financial year?

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Piece

    One of the great things or lessons learned from the defeat I got at the polls in 1991 as a NDP candidate was that been soundly rejected by the electorate, I have no fear of apologists and political junkies. Having refused to join either the BLP or DLP, I wear that defeat as a budge of honour. I have long dismissed the Duopoly and today I look back and see that the country is now in more dire straits than it was when the NDP was rejected. Even more ironic is the attempts by the Duopoly to implement policies today that the NDP presented in 1991. I am quite certain that former NDPs are advising them on certain programs.
    I stood up and felt the full brunt of the Duopoly and I can still walk with my political philosophy and ideology in tact.
    I am proud to have refused the cool aid on Roebuck and George Streets. However I respect those of my comrades who have found a home in those places.
    So my friend when they are ready to kick me off BU it would be no surprise or big thing. But thanks for the heads up.
    Keep up the good work. You are now a thorn in their backsides and they can’t take it. In the words of the elders: De cool aid drinkers and apologists can give but they can’t tek.
    Don’t ease up. The same stick that beat Bob is beat Harry. Peace.

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  • ” The Prime Minister noted that Government had just settled the arrangements to buy a number of electric buses from China”

    https://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/242903/mia-job-creation

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  • “Without giving details, Abrahams also gave an indication that Government was on the verge of reaching a deal with Innotech, who had provided services to the BWA under a special water tank programme, starting several years ago.

    “We are about to close off our negotiations with Innotech that stock up a number of things including the tank programme,” he said.

    “As part of the settlement with Innotech, we are going to have access to two desalination plants – one is going to go in St Lucy and the other in the area of Joe’s River – to try to put some more water into St Joseph,” said Abrahams.

    However, he made it clear that it was not an ideal situation to rely on majority desalination plants for the island’s water supply since these would cost the country hundreds of millions of dollars per year to operate.”

    https://barbadostoday.bb/2019/11/29/more-tanks-coming-to-bwa/

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  • @HA
    was the other Elite?

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  • That’s it. Elite. At its formation the Transport Board was way ahead of its time, something Barbadians could be proud of. Sometime ago I compared the Mottley government with the 1961 Barrow government – and have previously compared the 1961 Young Turks with the Adams regime. Adams won hand down – and was criticised.
    The Transport Board, Deep Water Harbour, radical changes in secondary education (Princess Margaret, Parkinson, St Joseph, etc, Evening Institute), the QEH – I can go on.
    Compare the policies of those governments with one that has been in power now for nearly a year and a half and you get the picture. Those were the days when Barbados genuinely punched above its weight.
    Now we have the crises at the BWA and the BL&P, cut backs in public spending, street violence (who remembers the days when your parents went to bed and left the doors unlocked), teachers, police and public officials commanded respect? The easy answer is that these are different times. Nonsense.

    Liked by 1 person

  • M|ore smoke and mirrors. How many buses? Is this a loan or a cash payment? KIf a loan, plse explain the conditions.

    The deal has been sealed for Barbados to buy electric buses from China, the Prime Minister announced today, even as she hopped about a Transport Board bus that a St Michael firm has converted into an electric vehicle.

    The prototype could also prove to be the model for turning some of the public bus company’s engine-less fleet into running EV buses, she hinted.
    Mottley made the comments as she visited Endless Electric Limited at Lears, where Wayne Clarke and Dan Johnson had restored and retrofitted an old Transport Board diesel engine bus with an electric motor.
    She said Government had just finalised the arrangements to buy an undisclosed number of electric buses from China.
    But, hinting at the future for the existing fleet, the premier indicated that Government wanted to have continuous procurement for a rolling replacement programme.
    She said: “We also felt that we have too many empty shells [of buses] and when a proposal was made to purchase one shell to see what could be done, the Government was more than willing to give these young entrepreneurs… an opportunity.

    “I therefore wanted to see what could be produced and as you can see this is magnificent work.
    “This is what we can do if we put our minds to it.
    “This is a prototype; they now need to go back to the table and see whether they can make a business case because as much as we want to help Bajans, it still has to meet the business case that the country can afford.
    “Government is disposed towards working with Barbadians to create opportunities wherever we can, but I give the warning always that it has to be within reasonableness.”
    Mottley called for a combination of approaches to the procurement of buses, declaring that empowering citizens was important, and gave as an example bus drivers being able to pool their resources to purchase and own a bus.
    The Endless Electric bus received an instant thumbs-up review from retired Transport Board driver Ricardo Briggs, who said it was very responsive.

    He told reporters: “The braking system is superior to the other buses.
    “It is a nice feeling to drive it; it handles well and I just hope that we will be in a position to do more buses and bring local jobs because this is a viable option.”
    Endless Electric Limited’s Clarke said the electric bus should be 75 per cent more efficient than any diesel bus and thus offer greater savings to taxpayers.
    After viewing the bus and taking a short ride, Prime Minister Mottley declared the latest development a key example of the Government’s job-creation push.
    She declared: “The creation of jobs now is one of the key things that this Government will be focused on, and it will happen not just in the new areas of activity, such as renewable energy and medicinal cannabis… but it must happen in some of the traditional areas where we can do better some of the things we want to do.”

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  • Excellent initiative to encourage a new local industry in the renewable energy sector.

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  • Wait wait wait..is that the same Innotech that them and BWA were cussing each other just months ago and accusing each other of theft and corruption, dont they just make ya tired though.,,hope this time they all go to prison,

    Anyway, ah told yall that Hyatt is not going up without a battle and as for thatbWorld Heritage, i always knew it would end up as a cockup.

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  • I would say even if the local buses cost us 20% more to retrofit we should do it. After all if we can recycle even half of the shells at Weymouth and provide jobs locally would be more than worth it.

    I await further details of these electric busses such as mileage between charges and passenger loads.

    Liked by 1 person

  • NorthernObserver

    Five (5) bus companies DID NOT form the Transport Board.

    The government at the time took over 116 buses from EIGHT (8) of the private concessionaires to start the Transport Board, which was reported to have began its operations on Wednesday, 24 August, 1955.

    The Elite and Rocklun Bus Companies were NOT incluced. TB took over operations of those bus companies in the late 1970s or early 1980s.

    Before wunnuh jump up to say I’m wrong……. please view the photo below, in which three (3) buses owned by the now defunct Elite Bus Company, are seen parked in the then Fairchild Street “bus stand.”

    It is important to note the National Insurance Building, which is seen in the background, was officially opened in 1975.

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  • The lost decade . . . and still counting!
    TODAY’S EDITORIAL
    It has become convenient political strategy for the present Government to refer to the entire period between 2008 and 2018 in Barbados as the lost decade. It is understandable jargon that resonates with the Mottley administration’s loyalists.
    And, in several instances, not all, it is an accusation that actually finds domicile in fact. However, for those unwilling to be swayed by the mere crunching of economic numbers or those who find greater satisfaction in being Barbadians first, and political apostles second, there is a school of thought that the lost decade has now been extended by 18 months.
    Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on which side of the political fence one is camped, large sections of the media, as well as previously vocal social commentators, have been disingenuously silent on a number of socio-political issues affecting the average Joe in the island. The irony is that many of these issues today are similar to what the self-proclaimed sleeping giant and his late but hardly lamented administration were constantly pilloried during the Stuart government’s last days loitering in the corridors of power in Barbados.
    Taxation in Barbados is exponentially higher under the Mottley administration than during the “lost decade”. Indeed, that decade was a period when Barbadians were constantly reminded by the then Opposition of Sir Winston Churchill’s comment that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle. Government has given significant tax concessions and write-offs to big business. But has this resulted in economic stimulation or shorter lines at the unemployment bureau? While Government pats itself on the back for meeting targets set by the impersonal International Monetary Fund, other than achieving positive rating points, ostensibly stymying economic haemorrhaging and making the numbers look more palatable, what are the prospects for the livelihood of the many to improve along with those of the privileged few? And while numbers are being balanced and promise made that there is light not too far away at the end of the tunnel, a cursory examination of most ministries and the responsibility which each has to the public, suggests that not much is working. And though the admirable Prime Minister Mia Mottley appears to be toiling overtime in the cause of the country she undoubtedly loves, she is finding it increasingly difficult to camouflage what seems to be a flyweight team in a heavyweight contest. But perhaps the blame for the dysfunction can be placed at the feet of Miss Mottley. After all, this is the same Miss Mottley who almost six years to the day was admonishing the then Government for having too-big “a 17-member” Cabinet and urging that administration to limit its official travel schedule, all within the context of a depressed economy. “You cannot maintain a Cabinet of this size if you are seeking to make adjustments of other people’s wages and terms and conditions of employment . . .
    Only the most critical travel should be engaged in by any Government minister or public servant, once there is a clear outcome of strategic benefit to Barbados,” Miss Mottley said then. What a difference the seating arrangement in the Lower Chamber makes!
    That which Miss Mottley scathingly criticized then, she now happily sponsors. But to be fair, we appreciate the political necessity to keep a majority of her colleagues in Parliament happy, especially with the presence of those who once usurped her authority still hovering. However, we will have to wait and see what “clear outcome of strategic benefit to Barbados” ensues from such as the “critical travel” of a huge entourage to return bones, or mere soil, to the African state of Ghana.
    But while Barbadians are being fed a steady diet of well-orchestrated, wellpaid-for- public relation ministrations, the murder rate in the island has reached unprecedented heights, public service transportation is in a shambles, the health sector is not functioning at its best possible levels, garbage continues to decorate our streets like boughs of holly with Bajans having no reason to be jolly, public utilities – especially water – continue to be an area of great bother. Vulnerable public servants have had their benefits cut and though most have been reinstated, if Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance Ryan Straughn is to be taken at his word, no consideration has been given to returning the months in benefits that were for all intents and purposes illegally withheld. There is a litany of woes – gathering. But such is the wall of silence – self-induced and otherwise inflicted – that one wonders if Barbadians have at last unconsciously reached that wonderful stage of Buddhist nirvana.
    We are not a country of nihilists, even though politicians talk about “lost decades”, “precipice of disaster”, “Barbados’ death knell” and the like, intended principally to influence opinions and guide fingers on ballot papers. But what we all ought to be, are our country’s unrelenting watchdogs, unafraid to bark and unwilling to lose our bite because of the lure of bigger political bones.

    Editorial Barbados Today

    Liked by 1 person

  • “However, we will have to wait and see what “clear outcome of strategic benefit to Barbados” ensues from such as the “critical travel” of a huge entourage to return bones, or mere soil, to the African state of Ghana.”

    This will live on in infamy…bones or soil carried to Ghana dug up from what CENTURIES AGO used to be a slave/slave master cemetry not far from each other…..right along with a dancing Rasta…lol

    They could not have been returning soil to Ghana because the soil is Bajan soil, the “BONES” on the other hand, could have been anyone’s or anything, they did no testing, so who knows what the hell they disturbed and carried down there thinking that after centuries in Barbados whatever it is will stay in Ghana because they said so…lol

    Even before their plane returned to Barbados every damn thing went SIDEWAYS…

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  • In all seriousness, Mia should be called out and held to account for this waste of taxpayer’s money on this Ghana trip, i was speaking to a Guyanese recently who told me Guyana and Ghana have had relations for years and am not sure if they still do but Ghana once had a mission in Guyana and at NO TIME..did the Guyana government have to dig up soil or bones or anything to take to Guyana so what the hell did Mia do…but whatever it is she did and from recent events, it will not turn out well.

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  • @Artax
    The Elite and Rocklun Bus Companies were NOT incluced. TB took over operations of those bus companies in the late 1970s or early 1980s
    +++++++++++++
    Don’t know the date(s) the TB took over those operations but it certainly took over 2 routes of Rocklyn in the early to mid 60’s. i.e. The Gall Hill and St. Patricks routes I believe they were 16A and 16 B, I took those buses at one time or another.

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  • Now with these electric buses coming i got to ask a few questions.

    What facility will be in place by the TB to handle the charging of so many buses overnight?

    What is the range of a single charge and what is the head count each bus can carry?

    Please tell me the TB will not be dependant on power from EMERA TO CHARGE these buses. If so next power outage we will be without Power, Water and buses. So is the charging source going to be green or power based? If power will it be independent of the current power grid?

    Will there be a separate charging station outside of Weymouth in event of weather or similar issues?

    You see before we jump and wave these type of questions need to be answered.

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  • Re the BT Editorial

    But…… the Gov’t fixed the sewage problem…. and we have “We gathering” to look forward to….

    The Editorial encapsulates all that has been said or being said on BU over the last year, the writer is now on the Gov’ts enemy list.

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  • Wait I forget a question.

    Has construction of these charging banks commenced, or will the buses come in and sit on the pasture at Simpson Motors for 6 months till the charging stations are built? After all we talking bout batteries that don’t like to lie idle for long.

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  • @ Sargeant,

    You may have to send a barrel for your next trip to Barbados.It could be used for storing water.

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  • The Barbados Transport Board was established in 1955, taking over buses and services of seven private companies. The buses were of British origin: Bedford, Leyland, Albion, Seddon. Bodywork was imported or built by the local manufacturer ACME…..(Quote)

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  • @Hants

    We have a tank at the homestead, I made sure one was installed during my last visit and it came in handy during the recent water woes. They are mandatory in any new construction and I would advise those who can afford them to ensure they are installed on their older properties at the earliest opportunity.

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  • @Artax
    makes sense, because I knew of Elite and I wasn’t riding buses before the 60’s.

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  • A bit of transport history:
    There was also the Progressive owned by a Mr. Birch, that used to service the Beckles Road Dayrells Road Garrison Rockley area. It was known to run on time. Mr Birch also owned the gas station at the corner of culloden road.
    Many black Barbadians of that era were visionary business people. They were also involved in freighting from pushing those long carts; donkey carts and trucks or pick ups. They knew what we don’t grasp today – that no economy can adequately function without a proper transportation system.

    Question:
    What really happened to ACME?
    What really happened to all the well established black owned mechanic shops on Roebuck Street?
    What really happened to the self taught black engineers ?
    What really happened to the Foundaries?
    Who systematically destroyed and failed to develop industries?

    Just asking

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  • @ William

    I remember Birch. The Barbados Foundry is now the new court building; and the Central Foundry is now a wasteland. @ William, we have become a nation of lawyers.

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  • “@ William, we have become a nation of lawyers..”

    That is what has actually destroyed the island, a bunch of selfish, uppity thieves have controlled everything from the 1940s and every decision they have made since then is to benefit themselves only and not the majority population. on the island, STOP ELECTING LAWYERS…it can only get worse.

    If you check their names in ICIJ going back decades, you will see why..

    “Question:
    What really happened to ACME?
    What really happened to all the well established black owned mechanic shops on Roebuck Street?
    What really happened to the self taught black engineers ?
    What really happened to the Foundaries?
    Who systematically destroyed and failed to develop industries?”

    Ask the criminal syndicate in the bar association, they all got pushed out to make way for and elevate MINORITY THIEVES…they started stealing from Mr. Butcher’s bank account in the 70s and 80s, the black entrepreuners were pushed out because they PAID NO BRIBES…

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  • “Please tell me the TB will not be dependant on power from EMERA TO CHARGE these buses.”

    John A

    Not necessarily, especially if the buses are out fitted with hybrid engines.

    Why don’t you wait until all the information is available before assuming the worst, being pessimistic and overly critical?

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  • @ Artax

    Well they should give us ALL the facts and not some and the rest when it suites them.

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  • “Don’t know the date(s) the TB took over those operations but it certainly took over 2 routes of Rocklyn in the early to mid 60’s.”

    Sargeant

    I’m not disputing if TB took over 2 routes of Rocklyn, all I’m say is that Rocklyn and Elite Bus Companies were not included in the formation of TB.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The following information was taken from the Transport Board’s website:

    https://www.transportboard.com/about-us/

    “Profile of Transport Board

    In June of 1955, the then Governor of Barbados, Sir Robert Duncan Harris Aurndall, KCMG, approved draft legislation and the Transport Board was formed three months later by an Act of Parliament on August 24, 1955.

    Before 1955, public transportation in Barbados was provided by a variety of public concessionaires, licensed by the Director of Highways and Transport to operate on specific routes. The private concessionaires were experiencing difficulties maintaining their bus fleets, and by September 1955, the Government of Barbados took over 116 buses from EIGHT (8) concessionaires. These buses were used by the newly established Transport Board on routes formerly held by the private concessionaires.”

    Quibbling about if TB took over the operations of 7 or 8 private bus companies is some what silly and childish, especially when the Board’s web-site clearly indicates it was EIGHT.

    However, the central point remains the Rocklyn and Elite bus companies were not included.

    Move on!!!!

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  • Mr. Skinner

    TB actually took over the operations of the Elite and Rocklyn Bus Companies in 1978.

    The names of some of the private concessionaires I am aware of are:

    …. Blades Hill Bus Company – Skeete
    …. Boston Bus Company – Mr. Coward
    …. Central Bus Company – Madame Ifill
    …. Diamond Bus Company – Mr. Trotman
    …. Elite Bus Company
    …. Federal Bus Company – Mr. Alleyne
    …. General Bus Company – H.A Dowding
    …. Leeward Motor Bus Company – Jerome “Romy” Field (located at the Lone Star Garage, The Garden, St. James
    …. Liberty Bus Company – Weatherhead
    …. Lincoln Bus Company – Mr. Tudor (Ivy, St. Michael)
    …. My Lord’s Hill Bus Company – Ulric Massiah
    …. National Bus Company – Percy Stuart
    …. Progressive Bus Company – (Aubrey?) Birch
    …. Rocklyn Bus Company – Mrs. Rock
    …. St. George Bus Company – Mr. Simpson
    …. St. John Bus Company
    …. Yonkers Bus Company

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  • Interesting thing is the TB took over 116 buses in the 1950s and we now have about 70 buses operating in 2019.
    Talk about progress!!

    The Duopoly Rules

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  • “especially if the buses are out fitted with hybrid engines”
    Hybrid was how the engineers at ICE manufacturers got approval to enter the electric age. If you dig down in all these car makers and dealers, selling cars is not a hugely profitable business in most places. They make their money out of the service and parts businesses. Disruption, as is the popular term, is never a single technology, but a convergence of several.
    In a similar manner to how storage, fueled the computer industry, it is one driver of electric vehicles. The batteries store more, but are smaller and lighter, and cheaper. So the removal of a depleted bank of batteries and swap for a charged set, is relatively quick and easy. And the subsequent recharging is done by PV stations. Plus the more charge they hold, the longer one can drive without swapping. And for maintenance, you are going from a vehicle with 18,000+ components to <100. Tires and brakes are the big items.
    I just saw a bunch of plans from a large gas station chain for “prototype stations”, all were electric charging stations. (So you know its not an oil company distribution arm.. lol) And a mix between high speed chargers and battery bank swaps.
    If you examine mobile phones, for years I used to swap batteries. Under heavy use, they’d die after 6hrs, and take another 6 to recharge. Now the battery is not removable, but lasts 16hrs and recharges in 90mins. Trucks and buses cannot afford the downtime, so for now, they must swap.

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  • Image may contain: 1 person, standing
    Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, people standing
    Image may contain: one or more people
    Image may contain: 1 person, sitting
    Barbados Government Information Service

    11 hrs

    The creation of jobs is one of the key areas Government will now be focusing on, says Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley.
    She made the comments yesterday afternoon as she visited Lears, St. Michael, where a team from Endless Electric Limited, led by Wayne Clarke and Dan Johnson, had restored and converted an old Transport Board bus to an electric one.
    After viewing the bus, Ms. Mottley was taken on a short ride.
    #PMMottley #Barbados

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  • @ Northern

    As I said above telling us about the buses without giving us the details of everything else is typical of how politicians act. I don’t know if they think we are not capable of understanding all the facts, or if it’s a case of just making fanfare statements without the supporting data.

    I hope the local guys get a shot at the business for 2 reasons. One is we need the business, but secondly the support for the vehicle will be on the island already.

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  • @ John A

    You are right. In the 1960s ACME made buses for the Transport Board; at the time it was big news (read back issues of the Advocate), but over time it failed to materialise for whatever reason. I hope these guys are luckier.
    But do you think the Chinese are going to cooperate with would-be rivals? Is the Barbados market big enough for economies of scale? We also have to go back to the original discussion, of the creation of the Transport Board (and I repeat: ignore revisionist history; the early TB was highly efficient; it gave us bragging rights over London Transport).
    What has happened in the intervening years that has turned it in to a great white elephant? We have to look at governments, policies, ministers, and senior managerial staff over the years and pinpoint exactly when the rot set in. This is death by a thousand cuts. That is why I called for a written history or PhD thesis on the matter.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Hal at 9:53 AM

    I concur. But remember Acme built bus bodies for imported chassis. These guys are reported to have built an electric motor/engine for an old bus body. No need for a PhD thesis. I was under the impression that you down valued these. Please do not flip flop. You are better than that.

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  • @ John A
    @ Hal

    No need for any research . The TB was used and abused by the Duopoly and people got jobs via party cards.
    Politicians had family and interest in the PSVs and that added another layer to the already existing corruption and mismanagement.
    The TB did not fail on its own- the whole thing was politically orchestrated by the Duopoly.
    Same thing with the rented car industry in tourism. The small man was systematically forced out to make way for others with deep pockets.
    Unless we are prepared to go directly to the heart of these matters , nothing will improve.
    Now there used to be a lot of talk about privatization and giving the buses to the workers. That gone through the window.
    More to come.
    The Duopoly Rules

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  • @ Hal

    Hal I agree with you and would much prefer to see our guys start by rebuilding those shells at Weymouth first, as it’s Bajans we talking about here.

    The shells are just sitting there so if they can be refurbished it will do 2 things. First clean up Weymouth yard and create jobs for Bajans. I say even if the local buses cost 20% more give the Bajans the work. After all some of the 20% higher price will come back in NIS and Vat from all involved to the treasury any how.

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  • @ William

    I know the TB has been poorly run for decades but going electric I support as long as IT’S PROPERLY PLANNED.

    We need to have the charging facilities in place before the buses arrive. We also need to decide if it will be a central charging station at Weymouth, or if they will be smaller sub stations outside the city. This move needs a proper plan for it to work. The public also need to know info on the buses like distance on a single charge etc. Many of us are not fools or children and are capable of intelligent thought.

    To simply say that ” we bringing electric buses” is not enough.

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  • @John A

    The local guys have built a prototype which must be tested to establish reliability, there is also the question if the company has the capacity to satisfy the current demand for buses. The fact the PM has toured the facility and given certain commitments is a step in the right direction. We have to keep the pressure on to ensure follow through. The leadership she has shown in the BL&P matter is encouraging.

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  • @ David.

    What i would like to see done is this. We use the Chinese buses to support the fleet as the first step. We then take a count of the shells at Weymouth and elsewhere and let’s say they are 100, we then GIVE these to local guys with the understanding they must retrofit and supply say 5 a month.

    It’s a young industry and needs help. If it’s successful though who is to say it would not end up exporting to other Caribbean islands.

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  • I also woukd ask the guys who manufactured this bus to park it on the open pasture by HB Hardware and let the public see it. Also have a sign done stating mileage between charges etc.

    If you want support then share your product with the Bajan Public where it can he seen.

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  • @John A

    We have to suspect this is the plan.

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  • @ Vincent

    Down valued what? I am proposing a history of the Transport Board and, it is generally accepted, one easy way of getting this done is by sponsoring a PhD student. There is no flip-flopping or down valuing. Focus on the history and not on the PhD.
    As to ACME making buses for imported frames/bodies, what is the point you are making. ACME was ahead of its time, but in no industrial country does a major product manufactured from beginning to end.
    Parts are always imported, that is how modern manufacturing businesses operate;; I take it you are not familiar with this process. For aeroplanes, engines are often made in one country, wings in another, technology in another, and assembly in another. We call that the supply chain. Plse put your hands up and admit you do not understand before casting aspersions.

    @ William
    You are right. We must go back to the point at which things started to go wrong to find a solution. In fact, I know at least one person who got a job at the Transport Board because of political connections.
    Personally, I think trying to patch-work the TB is meaningless; we need a comprehensive overhaul of public transport, at the heart of which should be climate change and a workers’ cooperative.

    @ John A

    At the risks of sounding like a one-note samba, I would first move the Transport Board to St John, the poorest parish, and use the Weymouth site for a comprehensive, modern development, including apartments, shops, offices, leisure facilities, selling offplan (to nationals and foreigners), and using some of that money to establish a modern transportation hub.
    I would split the new Transport Board in to different companies: a management company; a transport company (ownership of the vehicles) and a vehicle repairs and maintenance company – all owned by the workers.
    And yes, refurbishing the present abandoned frames would be a priority. Government could also assist in this development by zero rating all goods an services for the new manufacturing company from VAT and national insurance on condition that it gives priority to employing Barbadians (and CARICOM citizens) and for the first five years.
    Finally, we still need details of the Chinese deal: number of buses? Is it a loan or a grant or a cash deal? If so, what are the terms? How many Chinese do they have to employ? Will any of these Chinese be given permanent residence?

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  • A fair criticism of the current administration is that they often make announcements without giving additional useful information.

    I admired the BLP’s mastery of the new media during the elections, but it seems as if they went back to the old ways of providing information to the public. Drip, drip, drip …

    The old press release, gripping headlines and statements made at a photo-op are now woefully inadequate. Before, these pronouncements would take time to go around the island, but with BarbadosToday, BarbadosUnderground, FB and bloggers, the news travel around the world in almost an instant. Drip, drip, drip is passe.

    The new media has awakened a desire within the public for more detailed information. The delay, that once could be used to polish a story before it gains wide dissemination is no longer there. Mia and her comrades must flesh out stories before going public. Anything less is an insult to the public.

    Failures of this type are self inflicted wounds.

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  • It’s a shame that after fifty three years of independence we are talking about garbage trucks and buses. What really became of Arthur’s 20/20 vision? Independence Day parades are now like political mass meetings. We better get our act together soon!!!!

    The Duopoly Rules

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  • I have seen a pre-May 24, 2018 dinosaur come here and repeatedly publish an enemies list.

    I have carefully read the contributions from many on the list. For many of them, it is not a B or D thing, it is about the betterment of the island that we live on.
    And, of course we still have a few dinosaurs from the other party, but let us hope that BU dinosaurs become extinct.

    Have a Great Day Barbados.

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  • @ John A December 1, 2019 10:29 AM
    “To simply say that ” we bringing electric buses” is not enough.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Excellent queries there for the policymakers in the current administration to ponder on!

    How can ‘capitalist’ investors in the local electric buses business justify these much needed transformational financial decisions without revenue-earning guarantees of a reliable (and growing) market in the mass public transport sector while allowing the importation of hundreds of brand-new-second hand motor vehicles for private use to clog up the already massively congested makeover donkey-cart roads??

    Is the administration- which, like the previous one, pays only lip service aboard the alternative energy climate change bandwagon- prepared to take back most of the fossil-fuelled ZR and B vehicle permits currently controlling the more profitable short-haul routes on which the electric buses are more suited, economically and operationally speaking?

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  • @ miller.

    The other major point northern touched on is you only looking at stocking 100 different parts instead of thousands!

    It will also make places around the city and silent areas like the hospital so much quieter for those in there.

    I await more actual data on these electric busses like range per charge, projected battery life etc and less photo ops.

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  • Sometimes, you see a bit of a story that makes you wonder…

    Codrington added: “Probably if someone had called me and asked me about BM506 I would have told them where it was.

    “It was at Mangrove and the Board Secretary knew of the information,”

    When asked about the other six missing buses, the former quality assurance manager told the committee he would first have to know their registration numbers before he could say where they were.

    He said: “I would have to see that report and they have to give bus numbers. ”

    I have worked at a number of places over the years and I do not expect them to call me to ask about their equipment. Before we bring in new buses, we need to ensure that systems are in place to track “inventory”.

    Here is a simple suggestion from an old man. I think a smart youngster can make an app for the job; but we need to start fixing from the ground-up.

    In this day and age, it should easy to post a guard at a gate and he has a file which he can edit (not delete) and must complete and save every time a bus enter or exit the yard. With a drop down list of driver names and bus numbers the time and date for departure and arrivals must also be entered. The shete can be checked out at the same time by multiple users (S’Town does not have to wait on B’Town)

    Bus—————- Driver[———————Departure——————————Arrival———————Arrival
    Number———–Name/Number Station/Time—————————Station———————Time—————Driver
    209 Lorenzo B;Town 11:09 S’Town 20:09 Lorenzo

    Two independent Inventories of buses in the yard 5;00 a.m. and 8.p.m

    Before wunna start criticizing, tell me whey seven buses are missing.

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  • @Ogazerts

    Good suggestion for sure. Maybe we should just fit the new buses with GPS and done with that. Every hired car in the USA and Bus has been fitted for years with them. No need to reinvent the wheel here, as an abundance of data will be gained from the GPS. Plus you will know live where every bus is any hour of the day.

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  • Also if we fitted the new buses with GPS the TB could then just create a TB phone app that could be downloaded by commuters from the TB website. That way the public would be able to know where the next bus is and plan to catch it by just looking st their phone.

    Of course what I have said above assumes the TB is run as a business.

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  • Mr. Skinner

    I agree with you that “TB was used and abused by the Duopoly and people got jobs via party cards.”

    You have a situation where some drivers refuse to drive to certain routes and some who believe they are entitled to drive specific buses only. They are not afraid to tell supervisors “De minister send me hay, so you khan do me nutten.”

    Using GPS and phone apps, (which are all very good ideas) would only work if there is a change in the organizational culture within the public sector, especially the quasi government organizations.

    I recall when TB was in the process of installing security cameras on buses. After the 2008 general elections, newly appointed TB chairman, Pedro Standford, said the Board had some concerns about the contract with the security company and decided to stop the installations. They recommenced the installations, but using a different company. Clearly, this was an excuse to “bring in” their people to feed off the “fatted calf.”

    What is the use of a phone app to inform commuters there is a service scheduled to leave the Fairchild Street terminal at 11:00 AM to Sugar Hill, when a driver refuses to to go to that destination? Or a commuter living in Pinelands checks his app to verify there is a 10:15 PM service to Edey Village, only to find out after boarding the bus, the driver says he’s not going through the Pine?

    Before TB was established and there were 18 or 19 private concessionaires, people used to walk from from north, south, east and west of the island to Bridgetown, for example, because of limited service to and from various destinations of any given route or due to an unavailability of buses. This practice continued during the 1950s after TB was established and into the 1960s. Where is the evidence to support the claim TB was highly efficient at the time of its formation, other than someone saying it was?

    The organizational culture at the TB needs to change.

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  • @ Artax
    Agreed . The “organizational culture” needs to include the entire country. I think we need to seriously ask ourselves if that culture is now possible.
    We are refusing to admit that the country is politically polarized. All of the leaders are being produced from within the same political womb. We are not dealing with the damage done in the last forty or so years. Those who feel all of these problems came about in the “lost decade” were probably living outside the country the three decades before that.
    But that’s what polarization does ; it allows us to see problems from a very narrow political perspective.
    New leaders and ideas need to spring up and unfortunately , we just don’t have them anywhere in the Caribbean at this time.
    Political cultism is not leadership . Ask those who followed Jim Jones to Guyana.

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  • @ Mr Hal Austin

    Hal,

    Earlier you said and I quote

    “…“Government is disposed towards working with Barbadians to create opportunities wherever we can, but I give the warning always that it has to be within reasonableness….”

    Let de ole man explain what Mugabe Mottley means by “reasonableness”

    Rawdone Adams was made a Senator USING MUGABE’S DEFINITION OF REASONABLENESS!

    So much reasonableness was employed that The Constitution of Barbados was changed to mek he a Senator

    Let de ole man continue with my story about REASONABLENESS!

    The My Money scheme was forced on the Central Prank of Barbados AND NOT A MAN JACK HAS COMMENTED ABOUT THIS PRANK NOR HOW IT WAS FOISTED UPON THE NATION.

    But this is REASONABLENESS!

    If you or this Endless Electricity were to give Mugabe a reasonable kickback on the revenues to be generated by this prototype IN A WAY UNLIKE HOW THAT BLP IDIOT AT THE TRANSPORT BOARD, rented the property opposite the Transport Board IN HE RH NAME, and start fixing TB buses, I guarantee, that you and them would see how much REASONABLENESS, wunna would receive IN GOVERNMENT REVENUES.

    You just got to structure how MUGABE GETTING HER REASONABLENESS KICKBACK!!

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  • To the blogger wh said

    “…After viewing the bus, Ms. Mottley was taken on a short ride…” de ole man would add “obviously the ride WAS NOT long enough because she still pun de island!

    Like

  • I wish they had taken her for the bus ride on horse Hill

    Like

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