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19°/18.33°Scattered Clouds

2021-01-12 - 17:54:54  POLITICS | 

MINIBUS ASSOCIATION RESPOND TO TRANSPORT MINISTER ACCUSATIONS

The Bermuda Minibus Association met on the evening of January 10th, 2021 with its membership.

We wish to acknowledge our executive board which worked tireless trying to find a resolve with Government to get our most precious resource to school which is are children.

President Mr David Burgess, Vice President Mr. Roderick Simons, Secretary Mr. Winston Goodwin, Treasurer Mrs. Altama Burgess, Apologies from Public Relations Officer Mr Russ Ford Negotiation Team members include Mr. Esten Curtis and Mr. Calshon Pitt.

It should be noted that the 2020 cruise ship season was a complete lost for minibus owners due to the global pandemic. We are hoping the 2021 season will be better.

Three years ago Government and the Bermuda Minibus Association agreed to work together to provide transportation for our students due to the shortage of public buses. Initially the cost was $250.00 per run then was reduced to $200. 00.

In September 2020 The Bermuda Minibus Association reluctantly agreed to $125.00 per run which resulted in a huge deficit for minibus companies which was a 40?crease. The Government was notified in September that in the next contract for the 2021 school term that the price would have to increase as the previous cost was not financially viable.

The Bermuda Minibus Association and Government met in person and virtually on 3 occasions since December 2020. It was hoped that an agreement would be reached in good faith but this was not achieved.

On Friday, Jan 8th, 2021 The Bermuda Minibus Association met with the Transportation Minister, The Honorable Lawrence Scott, JP,MP and The Director of The Department of Transportation Mr. Roger Todd and technical officers.

The Government again insulted the Bermuda Minibus Association by offering once again the amount of $125.00 per run. The Govt knew from October 2020 that this amount would not be accepted. This has resulted in no contract being signed 2 business days before students are to return to school. The Bermuda Minibus Association views this as totally disrespectful and unacceptable.

The Bermuda Minibus Association has offered a price of $210 and that was rejected by Government. Our initial price was $250.00.

If one was to rent a Government Bus during peak time the price would be $278 per hour and that price starts when the bus leaves the depot and stops when it returns to the depot. The average school trips takes approximately 2 hours which would be $556 compared to the minibuses performing the same task for $210.00.

 With regards to Minister Lawrence Scott stating that the minibuses can do it for $7 per person we would like to clarify the service. The Service he is referring has a price structure as follows and is a government approved cost.

1st parish $5

2nd parish $2

Each additional parish $1.

For Example, if a bus leaves Sandy’s and goes to Berkeley it would pass through 5 parishes which would result in a price of $11.00 per person and if a bus carried 22 passengers the price would be $242.00. The $210 is more than fair.

Please note that when doing school runs it takes longer to perform the school run task due to the numerous stops and and the attention needed to attend to Covid 19 guidelines.

-The Bermuda Minibus Association met virtually on the evening of January 10, 2021 to update the membership on Government’s decision regarding the transport of students to school via Minibuses.

If the DPT/Government is unable to increase the payment for the current service, we will have to reject doing the work at the start of the January 2021 School term.

We understand the need to get the children to school however we are businesses and we have obligations that need to be met.

If Government wishes to discuss further, we are prepared to work with them to come up with a solution to get a signed contract to get our most precious resource to school which is our children.
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