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All aboard: JoBeth rides the bus

By KEILE CAMPBELL

Tribune Staff Reporter

kcampbell@tribunemedia.net

MINISTER of Energy and Transport JoBeth Coleby-Davis has been getting firsthand experience of the public bus system as her ministry continues its review of the sector ahead of a bus fare hike.

She told reporters on Thursday that she traveled on several bus routes through Over-the-Hill areas and spoke with passengers about how the current system can be improved.

Mrs Coleby-Davis said her ministry is committed to modernizing and transforming the bus transportation system, and has embarked on a review of the public bus transportation sector.

“It’s a priority of me to hear from the users what some of their concerns are some suggestion and recommendations, and how they feel about the fare increase,” Mrs Coleby-Davis said.

She said they received “really good” feedback, with bus riders voicing concerns about disability accommodations, the attitude of some bus drivers, and the physical conditions of the buses.

“They wanted better bus stops, better placement of bus stops, and they asked for maybe a proper schedule so they can know exactly when some of the buses are arriving, particular drivers they prefer... Also they spoke about the need for an evening route and maybe going to bus passes. Some of them raised really good points, things that we’re already talking about, so it’s good to hear it raised by the public,” the transport minister said.

When asked how receptive Bahamians have been to the pending increase in bus fares, Minister Coleby-Davis said there is an understanding of the need for an increase considering the rise in inflation and cost of living.

She said: “They were considerate of the need of the drivers to get an increase, they thought they deserved it, but they wanted to make sure the sector transformation came along with the increase.”

The Ministry of Energy and Transport has scheduled a townhall meeting on April 4th for the public, bus owners, and bus operators to exchange their thoughts and opinions to “balance the sector and make it user-friendly for everyone”, Mrs Coleby-Davis said.

Bahamas Unified Bus Drivers Union General Secretary Corvell Colebrooke said he was pleased to take the transport minister with him on his bus route #16.

“It’s a critical aspect of it because we have a sitting Member of Parliament and a Cabinet minister riding the daily bus, this is not just someone coming to say ‘oh well you need this and that’, no,” Mr Colebrooke said.

“She’s physically on the bus riding this to see what is going on on a daily basis and interacting with the customers.”

Colebrooke added that he hopes to see the prime minister take a ride on a jitney bus one day.

Comments

ThisIsOurs 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Didnt they run an entire pilot programme? They didnt get any insight from spending all that money on what was a proposed improvement? This sounds like more leading by talk show

moncurcool 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Mrs Coleby-Davis said her ministry is committed to modernizing and transforming the bus transportation system, and has embarked on a review of the public bus transportation sector.

Wasn't Glenys leading this ministry at one time and said the same thing?

I wish these ministers would just do their job and stop the pr talking.

When the system is modernize then come say something. Otherwise, just wishful thinking .

hrysippus 2 months, 3 weeks ago

A PLP minister rides the bus. A cause for much publicity fuss. Something Ping or Perry would never do, It would make them look like me or you. An emperor seen without his clothes, Will soon be facing politic woes. Is JoBeth the long game playing? Time will tell and she’s not saying.

BONEFISH 2 months, 3 weeks ago

This is just a photo op for the minister.The media here in the Bahamas is just as bad. They need to ask questions and do real journalism. There was a grant given by the IDB for a study on the development of a unified public transportation system on the island of New Providence.That was done in 1994. Here we are in 2024, basically no progress to that goal.

TalRussell 2 months, 3 weeks ago

All aboard: Starring Crown Minister Comrade "Sister" JoBeth --- Takes to rding the Jitneys' --- Not wearing her Sunday best church Knickers. --- Sounds like the theatre's latest musical production opening at the Dundas Centre for the Performing Arts. --- You can't make this stuff up, now, could you'. --- Good Day!

GodSpeed 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Let her ride a bus everywhere for a month and maybe I'd be impressed.

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