by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The Cabinet recently met members of the East Side Bus Association to discuss their concerns about the bus terminal and the conduct of other bus drivers. So what happens next?
Deputy Prime Minister Shawn Richards, during the March 23 press conference hosted by Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris, spoke about the issues raised by bus drivers and what’s being done to address them.
“Amongst the concerns, for example, they indicated that there are some bus drivers who are not using the terminal but instead picking up and dropping off persons along the route going to the West Basseterre bus terminal or other places in Basseterre. They said that that is affecting their ability to make a living, while others are doing it they are not doing it. They, to some extent, said that the police have not been doing a good job in terms of policing what they refer to as rouge bus drivers, they felt that more tickets should be given to those particular individuals to discourage them from breaking the law because indeed, there is a prescribed bus route.”
He mentioned that another concern raised about bus certification would require a look at existing legislation.
“There were other concerns in regards to the current legislation which speaks to the bus association, the membership of the bus association, because as it is you have more than 2-3 different bus associations and I gather that the legislation also speaks to Nevis. While the legislation speaks to a specific number of persons who can be on the board, the bus members are saying that they want representation from just about all of the different buses which do have an association. There are ways in which perhaps that can be addressed whether it is that the buses would have an umbrella association etc, but the legislation itself also needs to be looked at.”
Infrastructural work began Monday (March 22) at the terminal.
Discussions on other issues are continuing with Bus Associations and the Ministry of Transport, Minister Richards disclosed.
“There was a meeting on Friday of last week [March 19] with the PS for Transport Mrs. Carlene Henry Morton along with members of the association and I think you had a representative of the police to discuss some of those other concerns. Minister Grant himself had a meeting yesterday morning [Monday, March 22] with some of the bus drivers who have been accused of not following the bus route, so as to bring some level of satisfaction to that particular concern and to ensure that all of the buses more or less [operate] on an equal playfield,” concluded Richards.