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Minister calls on bus drivers to return to work, praises people for helping others

Transport Minister Terry Lister has today urged bus drivers to return to work - and praised Bermudians for rallying around to give people lifts as the buses ground to a halt.

Bus drivers were called out on strike yesterday afternoon and across the Island last night and today people - including some bus drivers - helped those in need to get to their destinations.

Mr Lister said he wanted to “express his profound thanks to the Bermudian public for their help and support last night and this morning in providing transportation for persons who have been left stranded by the bus strike. He specifically applauds all of those bus drivers who stayed on the roads to complete their shifts thereby affording many of the travelling public safe rides home”.

He added: “The extraordinary efforts by all sectors of the community to help each other are very much appreciated and it’s encouraging to witness the extent to which people have gone to help one another.

“Thanks to the taxi, mini bus and other private transportation that turned out in force at Dockyard today to help ferry our cruise visitors to their destinations. Thanks also to the professionalism of the Marine and Ports employees who did a phenomenal job in moving our guests via ferry from Dockyard this morning.”

He said the commuter ferry came up from St. George’s this morning and will return at 5.20 p.m.

Mr Lister also “gratefully acknowledge the enormous level of support by way of phone calls and e-mails over the Ministry’s handling of the industrial situation that has arisen at the Department of Public Transportation (DPT).”

And he encouraged DPT bus operators and other employees who wish to continue working at this time to please report to the DPT Fort Langton (Palmetto Road) Depot.

“IF YOU WISH TO WORK, WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO DO SO,” said a statement.

A Facebook page has been set up to help people stranded by the bus strike.

Called ‘Help give a ride to work Bermuda’, it currently has 605 members and details lifts that have already been given and messages from people who are prepared to give lifts.

One message says: “Please let meknow if there is a need at tourist hot spots to get them to the east end at around 5pm.”

And another reads: “Did my part this morning...picked up a lady at Horse Shoe Beach bus stop and 2 others at the Breakers bus stop...all headed town and didn't realize the buses weren't running. Happy to take 4 West at 5! Well done Bermuda! Spirit of giving rather than receiving is alive and well!”

One person adds: “Way to go, Bermuda! It's great that you're showing what kind and generous people most of you are. Although, I've known that for a long time.”

The address is: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Help-give-a-ride-to-work-Bermuda/252118261476780

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Published August 18, 2011 at 2:00 pm (Updated August 18, 2011 at 2:56 pm)

Minister calls on bus drivers to return to work, praises people for helping others

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