Shortage of buses leads to carpool idea

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A Sandys woman is attempting to set up a carpooling scheme to get children to school amid continuing bus shortages.

Janice Battersbee said: “We’ve got to stop pointing fingers and blaming as it wastes time. We’ve got to start being more solution minded.”

A total of 47 buses have been cancelled in the past two days.

Last month, a government spokesman confirmed that dedicated school buses could not run when a temporary arrangement to supplement the service with minibuses ended.

Ms Battersbee posted messages on Facebook this month calling for community members concerned about the bus situation, and the potential impact on schoolchildren, to come together.

The 52-year-old insurance underwriter said she was inspired to write the post after her church pastor raised the subject.

She said: “We should show our children what we are willing to do to help ourselves out of a difficult situation.”

Ms Battersbee said her own children, who are now 28 and 20, not being affected by the bus shortages was irrelevant.

“We’re all part of the community,” she said. “They’re all our children, so we should be coming up with some way of making sure our children get to school to get the education that they deserve.”

Ms Battersbee said the shortages hit home thanks to her family situation.

“My father used to drive buses years ago and my mother was a teacher, so these issues are very close to my heart.”

The response to her online posts has been largely positive, but some people raised concerns over student safety and liability.

Ms Battersbee said that she had been in touch with Saving Children and Revealing Secrets and one school principal about the idea for a carpool.

She said she also plans to reach out to Government, but that the community must also bear some responsibility.

Ms Battersbee explained: “We are government. The people voted the Government in, but our responsibility doesn’t stop once we put a ballot in the box. Our responsibility is ongoing.”

Ms Battersbee said further research into the insurance side of things were her next steps.

She added: “I’m going to take this as far as I can, and if it proves that it’s impossible, then I tried. I would rather have someone suggest something absolutely ridiculous than not suggest anything at all.”

Ms Battersbee is one of the co-founders of The Bermudians, which last year donated $50,000 raised through sales of a song to island teachers through the Bermuda Education Network.

Anyone interested in supporting the carpool initiative can e-mail communitytransportationproject@gmail.com.

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Published Jan 17, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Jan 17, 2018 at 7:07 am)

Shortage of buses leads to carpool idea

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