By Farrah Johnson
BUS drivers will no longer pay tickets for bus stop infractions due to “inadequate” stops, says Frederick Farrington, president of the Bahamas Unified Bus Drivers Union.
Mr Farrington told The Tribune that the union is incensed that more than a hundred recognised bus stops are not in place, adding the “unfair system” does not allow bus drivers to provide services effectively.
“If you were to ride down East Street corridors, there are 24 bus stops that suppose to be on East Street but there are only four bus stops,” he said.
You go on to Market Street, there’s supposed to be 16 bus stops but there are only two bus stops.”
Mr Farrington said bus drivers spend "tons of money in the treasury department”, but the basic tools and equipment they need are still missing.
“If you have a bus driver that was driving a bus for 20 years, he know where the bus stop suppose to be, [but if] you have a police officer join the force two years ago, he doesn't know where the bus stop suppose to be.”
“So if a bus stop a certain place, this officer will then write him up a ticket saying he’s not on the bus stop and this the problem that the drivers have,” he explained.
Mr Farrington said the union held a meeting with Works Minister Desmond Bannister earlier this year in January, who “promised” that the issue would be dealt with.
“The meeting went well...he also said we have to forward a letter to the road traffic controller, which we did, and the controller sent it back to the Ministry of Works,” Farrington said.
The president added that they also followed up on the matter and sent another letter to the manager in charge of all of the ground works at the Ministry, but nothing has been done as yet.
Because the union are collaborating with the Ministry of Works and the Ministry of Transport, Farrington said he also “sat down” with transport minister Renward Wells, who told him that the ministry needed to allocate more funds to repair the necessary areas.
“He [Mr Wells] said that he would see that these things be done but hence they are not done… it’s a dying need that the industry needs, and at the hands of the government, it’s like they’re just not assisting us.”
Farrington insisted that “enough is enough,” adding that “tensions” in the bus community were “running high” as they have grown weary of the “constant” unmet promises.
He added that this particular issue, along with other challenges the bus drivers face will be discussed in the union’s upcoming press conference scheduled for May 29.
The Bahamas Unified Bus Drivers Union represents more than 200 of 300 bus drivers that operate in New Providence.