“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.