PLP to make public transport free

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Premier and Transport Minister Ewart Brown would be the first to admit that he's long held a dream of providing free rides on Bermuda's buses and ferries.

And yesterday the politician who holds Government's purse strings promised that it would become a reality under a new Progressive Labour Party government.

Finance Minister Paula Cox paused and grinned at Dr. Brown as she made the pledge during the party's manifesto unveiling at Alaska Hall.


Premier and Transport Minister Ewart Brown would be the first to admit that he's long held a dream of providing free rides on Bermuda's buses and ferries.

And yesterday the politician who holds Government's purse strings promised that it would become a reality under a new Progressive Labour Party government.

Finance Minister Paula Cox paused and grinned at Dr. Brown as she made the pledge during the party's manifesto unveiling at Alaska Hall.

"In our next term, the PLP Government will provide free bus and ferry transportation," she said. The Deputy Premier did not explain how the initiative would be funded. The Government makes about $10 million annually from bus and ferry fares.

The United Bermuda Party said promises made by the PLP in its platform would "certainly raise taxes" if fulfilled.

The PLP's Patterns of Progress document talks of making public transport affordable to encourage travellers not to congest the roads with private vehicles.

Other transport promises include amended legislation to allow the fast tracking of Bermuda residents returning to the Island, a review of the trucks permitting process, waived landing fees for new competitive flights, the introduction of connector buses on north and south shore routes and a new sea rescue vessel for St. David's.

The party is also promising to plan for a new airport facility and carry out an assessment of the Island's sea channels, with a view to updating nautical charts not renewed since the 1970s.

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