School run deal reached with minibus association
A deal between minibus operators and the Government to run a school bus service has been struck, it was revealed tonight.
The move is expected to bring an end of shortages of buses on regular schedules – which led to about 50 cancellations a day.
But Lawrence Scott, the transport minister, said that there would still be interruptions to the public bus service until the deal with the Bermuda Minibus Association was signed off later this week or the start of next week.
Mr Scott said: “There will be service interruptions but they wont be as severe as last week – on average we will have about 25 cancellations per day.”
The regular bus service experienced severe interruptions last week – on average 50 cancellations a day – after negotiations on price for school runs with minibus operators stalled.
The Department of Public Transportation was forced to prioritise its buses for school runs as a result.
Now the association has agreed to do 34 school runs a day for $185 per run.
The association will also take on administrative duties such as scheduling.
The Department of Public Transportation will provide the remaining 22 trips needed a day to get all pupils to school and back.
Negotiations began in November last year when the minibus operators said they were losing money on school trips $125 each.
The association warned they could not do the runs for less than $210 each from this month.
But the Government said it could not afford to meet their demand.
The government offered to pay $175 for 36 runs with the DPT responsible for the administration.
Mr Scott said: “There was resounding support from the community to fill the void that was left by the minibuses during the time we couldn’t reach an agreement.
“I want to thank all public service vehicle members – taxis, airport transport limos and community vehicles including church vehicles – who came out and offered to help.
“This community rallied around children to ensure they got their education.
“I would also like to send my severe apologies for any inconvenience this has caused.
“We had to utilise the buses to ensure our children got to and from school.”