Sitting in a vehicle trapped in traffic on the highways and byways of Barbados any hour of the day has become a permanent inconvenience. The inability of authorities past and present, public and private, to effectively implement and enforce measures to address this and other woes. The problem of chronic gridlock on our roads is symptomatic of a crisis of governance.
Does the National Productivity Council still exist? How many hours are flushed daily because of idle time spent sitting in traffic by citizens who are gainfully employed?
Is the oil import bill still north of 700 million dollars? How many millions of dollars can be saved were an efficient transportation system to be implemented?
How many of the fossil powered vehicles are registered and what percentage represent electric or hybrid vehicles? How does this translate to Barbados becoming a 100 percent green and carbon neutral island by 2030?
There is the challenge to repair one of the most dense network of roads in the world made more challenging by more than 100,000 registered vehicles. This is not sustainable given limited foreign exchange resources.
The Barbados Court System was described as in danger of collapsing under its weight by Attorney General Dale Marshall. Is it fair to suggest to whom it should concern that the chaos on the roads is accentuating the problem?
The pandemic has forced providers to change how products and services are being delivered to the public. Eighteen months later the Barbados Licensing Authority and Barbados Revenue Authority are good examples of two government agencies responsible for administering road traffic being overwhelmed by the volume.
Insurance companies have reported to be paying out over 25 million dollars annually in claims. The number does not include unreported damage below the deductible or from non insured vehicle owners. Car parts are imported.
The decision by successive governments to pass on increases of the price of petrol to consumers has been a contentious issue given the inflationary impact on the economy. Recently an attempt – originating in the social media space – to buy petrol one litre at a time failed but it highlighted the thirst for fossil fuel is real.
If the analogy is borrowed to define how affairs of state is managed to compare with a system which is defined as – an interrelated set of components working together for a purpose – then the consequences of connecting the dots as it pertains to our dysfunctional transportation system is clear. It is a useful exercise to connect the dots for yourself.
What did you conclude?