Mayor calls for St George transport upgrade
St George needs an urgent upgrade in transport links with the rest of the island, including a daily orange route ferry service, the mayor of the town has said.
George Dowling III said public transport across the world operated at a loss, but better sea and road access for people was vital for St George’s future prosperity.
The orange route, connecting Dockyard and St George, was shutdown until the spring at the end of October – only days after it resumed service after repairs to a dock.
Mr Dowling told The Royal Gazette: “If it went back to a daily service it would be great.
“I know that the orange route and running that ferry, significantly, is cost-prohibitive from the Government perspective.
“But, public transportation, just about anywhere, it operates at a loss, any country in the world.
“I would like to think that having the orange route would bring more people in.
“I would love it if it was able to do that because then that just doubles the capacity for us and increases the likelihood that they will come to the town, have a good experience and spend more money in the town.”
The mayor called for other options to be considered if the orange route option was too costly.
He said: “If it was not possible [to have a daily service], I would love it if the Ministry of Transport would work with others, other stake holders and bring an enhanced service, whether it’s putting more buses on.
“Because, before we used to have the orange route, I remember as a boy growing up we had all the Public Transportation Board buses – government buses – doing all the tours and bringing people into the town.
“So, I don’t see why that wouldn’t be able to be done.”
Mr Dowling also said that there was “a poor circulation of taxis“ available for people wishing to visit the historic town and original capital of Bermuda.
The orange route was suspended on August 8 because of concerns about the safe disembarkation for passengers and crew.
The move sparked a backlash from St George’s business owners who said it was another blow to the economy in the East End.
The announcement angered entrepreneurs who said the ferry service had lifted foot traffic in the town during the cruise ship season and questioned why the work could not be done in the off-season.