St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The Bus Associations will be tabling their concerns at a Traffic Safety and Public Services Drivers Board meeting scheduled to be held Tuesday afternoon at the Department of Transport. This is according to the President of the St. Kitts Bus Association, Dale Hughes, also known as Big Blue. Speaking on WINN FM’s Traffic Talk program Monday (Feb 27), Mr. Hughes said that there were several issues he intended to raise with the board.
“The police themselves are questioning the way in which we operate, the issuance of numbers, certification of drivers as prescribed in the particular section of law pertaining to the board and our operations.”
Mr. Hughes is calling for rules governing how the buses operate to be better implemented in some areas that would lead to less drivers being ticketed. He used the example of the culture of collecting passengers at the Terminal located on the Bay Road.
“If we don’t put a distinct and definite way of operating, like lining up and first come first serve, we are going to have problems because the passengers are stopping at the rear, which is the eastern end of the terminal. The entrance and the whole length of the terminal going west is empty, so buses come and stay the rear and if we continue in this way and we get tickets and are being pushed down in the terminal by the officer who is there, it is not good.”
The St. Kitts Bus Association will be represented by Mr. Hughes, who is also the President of the West Line Bus Association and the President of the East Line Bus Association, Curtley Pemberton. Mr. Hughes added that to his knowledge, the Traffic Safety and Public Service Drivers Board had never met before.
“I got a letter on December 2 2016 which I responded to and handed the name of the main personnel of the board on December 7 2016 and I was informed by a co-executive from the St Peters Bus Association that the board had been formed, to my not knowing, because it stated that the board was organized in July of last year. I went to the department and got a copy of the document with the named persons and now it has been gazetted, so we are meeting tomorrow at the department.”
The association is prepared to also put proposals to the board and to also talk about getting concessions in return.
“Before the change of government we were saying that we are willing to give a flat rate of two dollars to senior citizens and a flat rate to school children in uniform going to and from school, provided that we got certain concessions” Mr. Hughes said.
Information that the Sugar City Bus Association was encouraging their counterparts to take strike action recently became public and prompted a meeting among all the associations on February 19. The associations subsequently decided to call off the strike and make another attempt to meet with the necessary officials.