PSVs on Forty Year Rampage

One of the enduring problems Barbados has experienced in the last 40 years is the inability of stakeholders to efficiently manage the Public Service Vehicle (PSV) sector. The result of which has seen the rise in a sub culture of an alarming proportion that threatens to destabilise the orderly society Barbados is known.   There is the negative ‘underground‘ music culture where the word RAW best describes the music. There is a calibre of person employed by the sector whose deportment is best described as RAW. One has to wonder how an industry that was started by the Black entrepreneur converting the ‘lorry’ has been allowed to morph to the ‘monster’ it is today.

For years the blogmaster offered the opinion that the owner of the PSV vehicle needed to be brought to heel to institute discipline to the sector. However, if one takes the time to understand the issues causing the chaos in the PSV industry- and wrecking havoc on society- it is no different to what led to the demise of CLICO. There has been a catastrophic failure in the governance framework effecting the sector.

An employee of XYZ company has a responsibility to perform to the best of their ability based on the job description. XYZ company’s obligation is to provide the training and support necessary for the employee to get the job done. In the simple scenario, if either party’s expectation is not met the contract is cancelled if remediation effort by the employer to address the ‘grievance/gap’ is unsuccessful.

For four decades we have witnessed the same refrain coming from local Authorities –  the minibus driver and conductor are the scum of the earth and must be brought to heel. In XYZ company if the employee does not comply with the conditions of employment it is grounds for discipline- dismissal if the violation is egregious. Why is it not so simple to create the culture of discipline/excellence in the PSV sector?

There is a level of malfeasance and corruption that afflicts the PSV sector known to industry participants. These stakeholders may be defined as the political directorate including the minister, insurance companies, police force, magistrates, MTW officials including the chief licensing officer and a few others. This blog points to the corrective action that can bring order to the sector by weeding out the bad apples through implementing an efficient oversight framework.

The Barbados Transport Authority – this is where the buck should stop – needs to act on the many recommendations shared with government through the years. Many can be found by using the Search Box at the top of BU’s Home Page. In company XYZ the employee is expected to perform to a declared standard, if the employee fails, there is action to be taken. The blogmaster is mindful of a prevailing culture in Barbados and note that the members of the Barbados Transport Authority serve at the pleasure of the minister.