Government has promised to closely monitor the national bus rotation system, which took effect on Monday, to ensure that there is adequate public transportation service throughout the State of Grenada.
On Monday (June 22), there were reports that persons were left stranded with limited buses operating.
The Grenada Bus Association (GBA) said this initiative is aimed at increasing the revenue stream for bus owners with less passengers permitted on buses due to COVID-19 regulations.
Minibuses are insured to carry 18 passengers; however, an ease in the COVID-19 regulations now allows 12, (3 in a row and one in front with the driver). The conductor is also optional.
The GBA in a news release explained that “The initiative will take the form of an “A” & “B” system, where the buses will be working day in and day out on a weekly schedule which will be interchanged every week. For example: on the days where buses “B” are on rotation, there should be no “A” buses operating and vice versa….”
“A” and “B” stickers should be visible on all buses that are part of the Association.
It is the hope of the Association that this initiative will help reduce operational expenses and the wear and tear of buses since they will be operational three days per week. It is also hoped that bus operators will get to make more trips along the routes; thus, enabling increased revenue.
The Association notes that the rotation is not mandatory for all routes since the number of commuters varies.
“The National Bus Association believes this initiative will increase the revenue of all its members and it is our further belief that this system will minimize the waiting period for the travelling public. The Association remains committed to finding innovate ways of adapting to its current time. We thank the bus owners/operators, along with the public for their continuous support,” the release concluded.
Meanwhile, Government in a June 24 news release clarified that “The initiative was represented by the Bus Association as a way to reduce congestion in bus terminals and on the roads, in particular the towns of Saint George, Grenville and Sauteurs. It was noted that it may be challenging to operate the 1400 registered buses at this time, since the travelling public has been significantly reduced to about a third of the normal level.”
Government noted that while it “ sees no illegality in this initiative once it does not hamper the movement of people, it continues to advise that this can only be based on agreement between parties concerned – that is, bus associations and individual bus operators.
The Government reveals that the rotation of buses is not in law and hence cannot be enforced by the RGPF.”