Four new buses drive transport improvements
Four new buses that will service Bermuda residents after the America's Cup are on order, with a provision for an additional ten vehicles in 2018, according to the Minister of Tourism, Transport and Municipalities.
Senator Michael Fahy announced the news at a media briefing yesterday, after last week's Budget. He said provisions had also been made to address some of the “different issues over the years” that have impacted the island's fleet, including upgrades to the current bus stock and job-based training.
“Our mechanics are being trained to a standard: Bermudians are on the ground working,” he said.
In the short term, the minister said money to put out-of-service vehicles on the road meant the existing buses would be able to support the expected influx of traffic this summer — including surrounding the America's Cup.
“Obviously there's going to be a lot more cars than you might normally expect,” Mr Fahy said.
“But we think that we're in a pretty good place with the fleet.”
The Department of Marine and Ports Services, which the minster said had done a “sterling job” keeping the ferry fleet up and running, had received a “substantial sum” to provide full ferry service “to ensure that our visitors get the experience they're looking for”.
“A lot of work has gone into it behind the scenes — we don't talk about it a lot — but we're pretty confident that we're in a very good position for both buses and ferries,” said Mr Fahy.
Mr Fahy also used the briefing to tout new “high-calibre” resorts “adding substantial, new hotel development for the first time in decades”.
He added that the rising maintenance costs of the ageing tug fleet had the ministry studying “future needs”.
“These tugs have served us well, but the work they do will increasingly require more modern and robust vessels,” he said.
The lease of the Millennium ferry will continue this year for transport between Dockyard and St George's.
“But this is likely the last year it will be needed,” Mr Fahy said.