A bus operator plying the No. 5 route from St. John has voiced the concerns of the many bus drivers plying that western route, have been severely impacted by the detour they are forced to make as a result of government declaring the Moliniere road unsafe for motorists.
During a press briefing on Monday, Mr. Rudolph Williams told the local media that in the past bus operators have had to deal with some poor conditions of the roads on the western side including added speed bumps. However, they are now faced with the very difficult situation of an alternative route being used by the no. 5 buses which serve the three parishes of St. John’s, St. Mark’s and St. Patrick’s as well as part of St. George’s (Happy-Hill, Brizan etc.) having to dig deeper into their pockets in terms of the maintenance of their buses and facing more challenges to ensure the safety of their passengers on the one way traffic route.
Williams described the alternative route as very uncomfortable and inconvenient for all motorists, specifically the bus operators/owners that now have to spend more on fuel, brakes, tires and other consumables. He hinted that tires do not fare well on concrete. He said when vehicles drive on concrete over a period of time it can cause major wear and tear.
Williams outlined some of the financial burdens that bus owner are being faced with on a daily basis since the detour through Mt. Moritz. He further explained that bus owners and driver now has to spend more monies to operate their buses on fuel, new brakes and to maintenance on a whole
Brakes on the buses he noted, normally last up to six weeks but now on the alternative route it lasts four weeks or less. Buses are being forced to cut down on the number of trips they make, which means instead of making their usual four trips per day they now make three or sometimes two and sometimes a late trip between 8pm & 9pm to accommodate their passengers and to get the gas station while it’s open to refill their tanks. One trip has to suffer he said because of the nature of the new route.
Mr. Williams believes that the relevant authorities should have conversations with the relevant bus operators on the way forward as it relates to their concerns about the safety of the road they now have to use because they have no other choice.
He is calling on the transportation minister to meet with the busmen who are literally crying out for some sort of discussions about what could be done and to understand the severe nature of their situation.
A letter he pointed out has been drafted to be sent to the government in that regard.