Delivery of new buses delayed by supply-chain problems
The delivery of new buses to the island has been delayed because of supply-chain issues, the Minister of Transport said.
There has been a raft of cancellations over the last week because of the unreliability of the diesel fleet, Wayne Furbert said.
In a statement the minister added: “As we continue to upgrade the public bus service with new and improved electric buses, the ageing diesel fleet is proving less reliable in meeting the transport needs of the public.
“The recent increase in cancellations has come as result of the ageing fleet and supply-chain delays in the delivery of our new buses.”
Mr Furbert was speaking after 17 buses were cancelled today, most of which came from the West End.
He added: “The Department of Public Transport has a dedicated customer base and is often the first choice of on-island transport for our visitors.
“We remain grateful for the public’s support and so while we navigate this period of high demand and the challenges of meeting that demand, the Ministry of Transport will extend the use of bus passes to the benefit of our passengers.
“Effective immediately, all passengers holding a July pass can utilise their pass during August, and passengers with an August pass can use their passes for both August and September.”
The Department of Public Transportation has cancelled 303 buses since July 26, which saw 76 cancellations, the next two days saw 55 and 32 cancellations.
On July 31, there were 55 cancellations and the next day there were 68.
A government spokesman said: “This situation is far from ideal and the Ministry of Transport apologises for the inconvenience caused to the travelling public.
“We are focused on finding immediate and long-term solutions to address the shortage of public buses and improve the reliability of our transportation system. This will include some modified scheduling enabling is to meet peak demand.”
The Ministry of Transportation ordered 30 electric buses last April from the Golden Dragon Bus Company in China and expected to have the 88-bus fleet fully electric by 2035.
The buses were predicted the have saved the Government more than $135,000 in fuel and repair costs, but they have proved to be susceptible to excessive rain.