“There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza,
There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, a hole.
Then mend it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
Then mend it, dear Henry, dear Henry, mend it...”
– Nursery Rhyme
During the Estimates Debate last week the decision by the government to purchase electric buses was identified as one of the reasons the Transport Board achieved significant cost savings. The blogmaster is unsure if the actual amount of savings was mentioned. He also cited the Transport Augmentation Program (TAP) as a good example of a public-private partnership. The fact members of TAP have grumbled publicly about delayed payments for services rendered is understandable given challenges created by the pandemic.
The electric buses are observed daily on the streets of Barbados and although the pandemic has significantly reduced loads they appear to be doing a job. The blogmaster will wait until the work rate of the buses increases before giving the thumbs up.
For many years commentators have railed about a dysfunctional public transportation system. It is one reason average individuals now prioritize purchasing a private vehicle above house and land. On a 166 square mile island reported to have greater than 130, 000 registered vehicles, it leaves one to muse about the sanity of an educated people. It does not require high IQ to deduce there will be consequences if the a radical transportation policy is not implemented quickly.
Minister Gooding-Edghill must share government’s plan for improving public transportation that will see a significant reduction of vehicles on the roads of Barbados. Enough of purchasing Chinese electric buses already. By the way, in the 80s we held up Butcher’s ACME as a model company which converted a chassis into a reliable omnibus. It is regrettable we have not applied the brain power to that sevtor to be able to economically produce electric buses. An efficient public transportation system is more than procurement of Chinese buses. Can Barbadians tap an app on a mobile device to check bus scheduling in “real time” to plan travel for work, school or leisure?
There must be a holistic planning of land use policy of which an efficient public transportation system is integral – to significantly reduce the number of vehicles and congestion on the road, reduce carbon emissions etc. The general public must demand policy that is forward thinking and futuristic design and fit for purpose.
The chaos witnessed daily on our roads is a key performance indicator to support an F grade on the policymaker’s scorecard. The long wait times and inefficient processes Barbadians have to endure at the Licensing Authority offices is a key performance indicator to support an F grade on the policymaker’s scorecard. The upward trendline in the number of vehicles on the road is a key performance indicator to support an F grade on policymaker’s scorecard…
The blogmaster listened to the transportation ministers sharing the plan for the coming financial year BUT missing was how it linked to a vision for Barbados 10 years into the future. The Cabinet meets and one must assume a cabinet paper is the output of a rigorous inter ministry process that translates to national policy. Last week seemed very reactive and disjointed to a simple-minded blogmaster.
You are in great danger of an internal radical transformation, in thought.
However, the effectiveness metrics cannot be limited to the indigenous production of hardware within a radically redesigned system but by the app of which you speak telling us how many minutes an electric bus, or other, is away from each bus stop in real time.
The reference to an App was in passing to identify one metric to measure efficiency in the sector.
What you are demanding from this government, this minister, this country, is the courage to think outside the box of five year mental prison.
It might be easier to have the minister born again than to achieve the desired objectives.
What is also being demanded is that stakeholders in civil society speak up to demand greater accountability.
On the introduction of breathalyzer testing. Seems unavoidable that some Western prescription is always to be the answer.
But yes, the culture of drunk or inebriated driving, legendary within what being Bajan has given meaning must come to an end.
We know the stories well of men, mainly, so drunk that their car literally drove them home, at 2 in the morning. And worse!
Long past time for this health hazard to be seen as a joke, an act of bravado.
But you just can’t test. You have to hold people serving too much intoxicating substances to customers and others accountable.
People driving bout wid intoxicants in cars. You have to build a culture where drinking and driving is scorned. And that gine be real hard to do!
The accountability of this Blp Government is to change the Minister every 2 plus years . The new Minister change the boards members
“The electric buses are observed daily on the streets of Barbados and although the pandemic has significantly reduced loads they appear to be doing a job. The blogmaster will wait until the work rate of the buses increases before giving the thumbs up.”
On one hand, you’re ‘saying’ the new BYD electric buses “appear to be doing a (good??) job,” but on the other, you have to “wait until the work rate of the buses increases before giving the thumbs up.”
I believe, under the circumstances, your assessment is unfair.
The last time buses were purchased for Transport Board was in November 2006, when 65 Mercedes-Benz T270R Marcopolo Torino buses were added to a diminishing fleet.
In November 2017, for example, then manager for marketing and corporate communications, Lynda Holder, revealed over 125 buses were off the road, further reducing the daily number of units required to adequately service routes.
Also, bear in mind the 35 BYD buses did not INCREASE the number of available buses, but REPLACED some buses that were either retired or scrapped. As such, you cannot wait until there is an increase in passenger rates “before giving the thumbs up.”
The blogmaster gave an initial assessment while making the point Covid-19 has created a condition that does not permit the best assessment.
What great job are these buses doing also what were the purposes of these buses
As u have clearly pointed out barbadians way of transportation is becoming more of providing a vehicle that they can own
That being the case expect that over the years the capacity load on those electric buses would drop leaving a significient hole in govt revenue for the funding and budgeting of our transportation system
Instead of govt buying new Chinese buses govt funding should go towards expansion of roads and building new highways for a foreesable future which would include more vehicle activity
You’re missing the point.
Even if the island wasn’t experiencing the effects of COVID-19, your assessment would still be flawed.
The 35 new BYD units did not increase TB’s fleet or improve the efficiency of its service. They only served to replace 35 of the several units that are undergoing repairs at UCAL, L & N, Simpson Motors and Lears Plantation or were scrapped for parts to keep those buses that remain in service on the road.
The service will remain inadequate until such time the number of buses required to service all routes is achieved.
Let us agree to disagree.
@ David March 21, 2021 6:26 AM
“What is also being demanded is that stakeholders in civil society speak up to demand greater accountability.”
So who is going to guard the current crop of suspicious guards dressed in all red?
What has become of the inquiry into the financial infelicities at that same TB?
Is that now going to swept under the carpet using Covid-19 as the broom?
We all know that TB is one of those SOEs near the top on the Privatization list as mandated by the IMF as ‘consideration’ for the ongoing national bailout package under the guise of balance of payments support.
Will that much-ado-about blatant corruption under the previous administration disappear along the same ‘route’ as the TB rolling stock?
William Skinner must be having a big laugh while crying over his crystal ball as he watches the B vs. D long-playing political game in Bim called ‘Duopoly’.
Good question, ask the leader of the opposition.
The dlp did not buy one bus in ten year neither did they used the money to build any roads for the foreseeable future
What they did is had the commuters spending hours in the bus stands and at the busstop hoping and praying a bus would soon come
All the while paying thousands of dollars is salary and perks to a Trini top boss and ‘wasting money on spare parts and repair
While giving away money to cronies garages that bill multiple times for one repair. Etc etc
U can stuff ur advice about the electrics buses down yuh rabbit hole do
Here we are stuck on procurement of buses when there is the bigger issue to solve.
My simple maths reveals the reason for the very long waiting lines at the Licencing Authority….. according to your figures:
of Vehicles/Licences 130000
Days open/week 5
Hours per Day 5
Weekly hours open 25
Yearly Weeks open 50
Yearly hours open 1250
Licences/Hour Required to process: 130000/1250 = 104
There is no way they can process 104 customers per hour!!! It’s probably closer to 5 ….. Yes, I know my simple maths may be slightly flawed as:
(1) not every Licence Holder need to renew on a yearly basis (except over 70 years old …. stuspe…)
(2) some Licence holders own more than one vehicle but this may balance out since every Licence Holder don’t own a vehicle
What it does show however, is that the system needs overhauling!!!
Throw in the confusion of “the Photo taking machine ain’t working”, “we short of stickers”, Licencing Authority vs BRA, dealing with Licence renewals + Vehicle Inspection, Drivers Permits, New Drivers that just passed their Test, Learner Drivers taking their Written Tests, etc….. = Delays!!
The technology of using a phone app to track a Bus to know when it will arrive at a bus-stop, has been around for years, and not expensive or difficult to implement ……. but most of our decision-makers are not tech savvy and are scared to put it in the hands of our capable young people.
Breathalyzer testing been around for years in many countries ….. no need to re-invent the wheel and take YEARS to implement…… study the legislation and methods of those who successfully did it years ago, then proceed.
Too many dinosaurs in-charge!!!
@ David who wrote “Can Barbadians tap an app on a mobile device to check bus scheduling in “real time” to plan travel for work, school or leisure?
This could be a ” project ” for youngsters who have learned to ” code “.
I drove 50 kms on hwy 401 yesterday with the waze app on my phone on. It gave me updates on traffic conditions and even alerted me to ” potholes ahead “.
Another opportunity for Bajan app creators.
Some very good comments on the licensing services and you blunted one of my line sof approach before I even started
(1) not every Licence Holder need to renew on a yearly basis
but let me probe a little
Is there only one licensing office in Barbados? The correct answer is not – here is one of the overseas folks asking questions. How dares he?
Does your calculation changes if there is one team doing paperwork, two teams doing paperwork, or even six teams?
I think you may have suggested how to improve the licensing service without intending to do so.
Absolutely correct……. our kids could handle such a project (and many more)…… the hardware is relatively inexpensive & available….. but who in the Transport Authority , or Government, is ‘tech savvy’ and willing to let our young students attack such a project?? They are simply ‘politicians’ and not willing to ‘take the risk’ with our students, is their concern ie: ‘let’s bring in somebody from overseas to do the job’!!!
Here we have a Minister skinning coppins and feeling smart because the TB saved a few coppers by buying electric buses to run up and down the road.
Imagine the effect of 350 electric powered PSVs. Don’t think about private commercial vehicles yet or even all Government owned vehicles.
Now ask the said same Minister about the Government’s policy on that.
However, with small amounts of marijuana now decriminalised, Roland-Bowen wants Government to expand the legislation to include testing for those driving under the influence of cannabis.
Sharmane girl, I don’t know how to tell you this; but more accidents are caused by people driving under the influence of stupidity than those driving under the influence of cannabis and alcohol combined.
I guess it is always best to reach for the low-hanging fruits first. Yes?
Wunna worrying bout a few buses and got a $700M deficit with both barrels pointing at you !
@Miller you wrote:
“William Skinner must be having a big laugh while crying over his crystal ball as he watches the B vs. D long-playing political game in Bim called ‘Duopoly’.”
The apologists have predictably exhausted their supply of apologies. Weak attempts to prop them with up fancy words have failed them miserably. They will continue to pretend that they actually put Barbados first and that they are more Bajan than anybody else but that can only work for a moment. I would certainly be laughing but it is not funny when people abandon all reason on the altar of party expediency. Others are just waiting on a call from Mia , to join the feeding. The longer she makes them wait, the weaker they almost pathetic pretense that they have some unique hold on a thesaurus is actually a thing to be pitied. I note only one apologist, who had almost fooled me that he/she was neutral is holding out very nicely.
Let me say that if Depeiza and the Dems were in “power” it would have been the same movie with different actors.
Don’t be distracted by a few buses in the estimates. Focus on that $700M deficit that staring us in the face.
As for a quick return to tourism also focus on the 3rd wave in Europe, but most importantly where it is blowing up. Our biggest worry is France and why you may ask when most of our tourist come from England? Well France is the entry point via the tunnel to England, hence is a major exposure risk for our source market.
@ David March 21, 2021 9:23 AM
“Good question, ask the leader of the opposition.”
Which one? The mock one or the real one called Caswell “Gadfly” the people’s LoO?
That current Constitutionally-necessary placeholder is nothing more than a green turncoat for a red buffoon playing the role of the devil’s advocate climbing up a breadfruit tree in the ongoing parliamentary pantomime.
With all the rumblings of Minister Gooding-Edghill during the estimates debate, and the ordering of the new electric buses. I’m wondering IF the Transport Board is privitised who will be the NEW people responsible for the operations. Certainly not the minibus people/operators and if not then who?
With the over half billion dollars to be spent SOON plus the expansion of the Bridgetown port it leaves one to wonder where that money is coming from. Certainly not the IMF.
In light of all that was noted above. I’m wondering. Just wondering. Since so much is being kept so ultra quiet. If maybe the Chinese have or will have the hand in the proverbial pie.
To all those bajans overseas who would like to see Barbados move forward with technology like using apps to make life easier, please do not hold your breath. There is a government payment system called EZ pay which is so frustrating that most times you just give up in trying to make payments that would benefit the government. You go to the private sector Surepay online payments and no problem. Younger tech savvy workers are needed in those ministries that provide online services. Too many square pegs are still selected by political affiliation. Barbados Public Workers Credit union produces your ATM card in minutes while the machine to produce a similar card at Licensing Authority is always broken so you cannot get your license updated.
@ John A March 21, 2021 11:40 AM
We need devaluation. The sooner the better.
The exchange rate of 1:2 comes from an arrogant, out-of-touch politician we all know. Unfortunately, this exchange rate does not reflect our fabulously low productivity. Time to adjust the exchange rate to 1:4 or 1:5.
Furthermore, we need an emigration program to dispose of as many civil servants with union membership as possible, along with their families. Our island is totally overpopulated, we must act quickly.
Many still connect “infrastructure” with civil engineering works. And architecture as a career related to design of structures. The concept of technology infrastructure is not well understood, nor is architecture as it relates to the world of IT.
The fairly constant ‘brain drain’ Barbados has experienced over the years, esp when combined with medical and lifestyle advances where people live (and work) longer, is most seen in the area of technology on the island. Many were afraid of technology, and feared its implementation would render their functions obsolete. People everywhere, fear losing control.
In many cases, the island would rely on foreign entities to aid in the process. Banks are one example in financial. Yet, they have a host of technological advances available to them elsewhere, which they have not implemented in Barbados. It would be interesting to know why?
The government stated its intention to open an embassy in the UAE. The UAE is looking at expanding its zone of influence. Don’t forget that under the previous regime the UAE was prepared to pay Barbados outstanding debts.
I would not be surprised if the UAE have offered an extremely low cost loan to our government. It remains to be seen what our government is offering them in return.
F is for freedom from dispensationalist rhetoric.
Pingback: Outlook is Gloomy | Barbados Underground
The following video may suggest many things to different people. What is suggest to the blogmaster is a lawlessness and indiscipline that is getting close to mainstream. A situation where authorities seem helpless in the eyes of the public to curb the rot. A situation where a sub element in society has taken civil society hostage.
David I am so happy you showed that video as I saw the idiots myself on Sunday, so let me share what happened.
I was in a line of traffic moving slowly coming into Warrens from the south coast on the highway around 5pm. When I finally got to Warrens round about it was these idiots who were the problem. They were riding between the Warrens round about and the Shop Smart round about taking up both lanes of traffic. Bikes on only back wheels, quads sliding from side to side and no cars could pass them. When they got to the cost u less round about they then went back to warrens. I saw at least 30 of these in warrens, but also passed another 20 or so on the side of the road by Kooyman Hardware.
My point is what de ass are the police doing about this? Why must joggers and others using the road be abused by a handful of idiots every Sunday?
I also noticed in the video when they saw the police vehicle they scattered like flies. No doubt none have insurance and few may even have a bike license. This problem has been going on for months on a Sunday, so why has it not been dealt with? They are certain parts of the ABC highway that have rock faces on both sides, hence no escape why hasn’t a trap been set for them in such areas?
It is a disgrace that the authorities are so inept when it comes to this issue. It is only a matter of time before one of these idiots kills either a jogger or someone on the road side.
Dam well get up and deal with it! This island seems to have lost all control over enforcement of law and the message these idiots are sending to others is WE CAN DO WHAT WE WANT AND NO ONE CAN TOUCH US.
Thanks for your eyewitness report. Let us strip this out later as a separate blog.
One observation from afar is they were a lot of nice bikes, several newish. Ditto for the cars. Not an image of a poor country, in need of assistance.
@ Northern Observer March 22, 2021 2:07 PM
You got that one right on target!
Not only those ‘more than likely uninsured’ bikes but also the big rides with exotic brand names like Mercedes Benz, Lexus and Legends carrying factory-fitted governors geared to not exceed 80 KpH and specifically designed with wings to fly over the traffic jammed 21×14 island of Barbadoes still punching above its weight in debt.
Always know what is being said on your behalf since who you elect dont feel it’s important to tell you what they plan.
oops…had this on the wrong blog.
Miller…how many years, how many fights we had with yardfowls about this…..as long as the diversification means those lazy ass minorities will FINALLY do some REAL work on the island and stop mooching and leaching off the Black populaiton..
“BARBADOS’ ECONOMY MUST be diversified from tourism.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley said yesterday alternatives must be found to drive Barbados’ economy, the main plank of which almost completely collapsed under the weight of the COVIDC-19 pandemic.
“We have to diversify,” Mottley said during debate on the Appropriation Bill in the House of Assembly yesterday.”
wuhloss…Leith Court #13 in Worthing View for sale…..ah wonder how many of them are up for sale and to whom..
keep ya eyes on them….don’t blink.
Is this it?
No ideas for growth it seems always about paying away money.
Hong Kong residents shift billions abroad
lol…you were told long ago.
I don’t understand why anybody would go to the Licensing Authority every year to renew their license, when they can go once every 3 years and save themselve 2/3 of the standing in line time.
I have said this to people while I myself was standing in line and the response invaribly is “what if I die before the 3 years is up, what happens to my money?”
As the resident “expert” in life expectancy I say that this is a foolish worry. Many of us get a driver’s licence in our teens. MOST of us will live to be 70 or older, Stop worrying about what will happen to a few of your dollars in the HIGHLY UNLIKELY event of your premature death.
Save yourself time, money and hassle. If you are younger than 70 when you are required to be medically certified annually, just renew every 3 years. It is cheaper too.
it’s time for Black Barbados to REMOVE THEMSELVES …from under these minority CONMEN and THIEVES……cause no one is going to do it for ya, ya have to do it yaself..so don’t sit and wait…
just look in the face of that criminal and it tells you everything.
Cuddear…ya can even renew the license for 5 years now and don’t have to go around the office for a long time.
Cuhdear BajanMarch 26, 2021 6:33 PM Stop worrying about what will happen to a few of your dollars in
Cuhdear, but that is money dat summa dem would spend on Bush Hill. A bird in the hand and all that..
There is no guarantee on those 72 Virgins.
The rise of the digital nomads. Are we tweaking our welcome stamp program to be ready for the surge?
A now banned commentator asked a pertinent question: on several occasions:
“How will the current government reshape its economy without the tourism market.”
We now have the answer. Mia stated that with “many” host countries now vaccinating their population; Barbados is now duty bound to kick start its economy and must reopen the tourist industry..
This should come as no surprise. This poor government is simply unable to look beyond the tourist industry. Good luck Barbados!
Before the country reopens to tourism will the government vaccinate Barbados population?
What a waste of a press conference. The tourism industry is currently not viable.
The sooner this government understands this the better it will be for all concerned.
Can we please focus on low hanging fruit and those industries which have been either overlooked or underdeveloped.