Call for a transport summit and a cap on minibuses
A key player in the island’s minibus industry has called for a summit involving stakeholders to resolve longstanding issues hindering the smooth transportation of tourists.
The head of the largest minibus association – who is also the largest minibus operator – has also called for restrictions to stop the total number of minibuses increasing.
David Burgess, the president of the Bermuda Executive Minibus Alliance, said that the Government needed to cap the number of minibuses on the island, believed to be between 170 and 180.
Mr Burgess said that only replacement buses should now be allowed in.
He believes the Government could win the day with transportation professionals by bringing together owners of taxicabs, minibuses and other groups involved in transportation to discuss the various issues.
He said operators often identified common issues they faced, based on unilateral government decisions – decisions that could have benefited from user input.
One case in point is Horseshoe Bay, a key destination for cruise ship visitors, who Mr Burgess said, bore the brunt of a failed policy that needed to be resolved.
“Government buses drop cruise ship passengers at the top of the hill and passengers have to walk down to the beach and later back up to the bus. Meanwhile, you have taxis, minibuses, private cars and cycles using the same road to drive down to the beach and back up.
“It’s difficult to get in and out, but worse of all, there is nowhere to park.”
“We just don’t consult one another. No one has asked the taxi drivers or minibus operators about how parking can be properly laid out. They just do what they like.
“Someone had the nerve to say the extra taxis and minibuses should park up by Southampton Rangers Field. That makes no sense.
“With all the property they have down there, it could have been laid out to safely and comfortably accommodate everyone. Right now, it is just not laid out properly.
“These are the only tourists here spending money and that’s where most of them go, so we should be taking care of them properly.
“And we should have completely upgraded the restaurant. Some good work was done, but not enough. They need to knock that place down and put a proper building up down there.
“There are other issues, but some common-sense decisions can easily be achieved through more dialogue on this one alone.”