Bermuda Industrial Union President Chris Furbert put the media on notice that the new Director at the Department of Public Transportation has requested an “urgent joint consultation committee” meeting with the union next week.
Speaking after union staff met on Thursday morning with DPT officials, he said the workers were “concerned” about management’s attitude.
Dilapidated buses and “unfair” management practices are frustrating bus drivers, said Mr Furbert.
“The answer is that they need to buy more buses.”
He also noted that Roger Todd, the new director at DPT, wants to hold an urgent follow up meeting with the joint consultation committee next week.
Staff were unhappy with “the condition of the buses and their basic working area”.
“A host of issues have been ongoing over the last three, four, five, seven years,” he added, citing problems ranging from from air conditioning not working to the ongoing spate of buses breaking down.
The union leader also said staff are concerned about the amount of time it takes to resolve any of the issues at hand.
“You’re talking about providing a serve for the public,” he said.
“People complain when the buses aren’t working, but the staff need to be able to do the job. The fleet has aged and you can only do so much maintenance.
“If DPT has 100 buses and let’s say 80 of them are past their shelf life, what do you think is going to happen?”
Route cancellations this year have been upwards of 90 routes on some days, including school bus routes – not to mention it’s cruise ship season.
On Tuesday, May 15, Bermuda Real sent in a formal request to the Minister of Transport Walter Roban and his DCI representative requesting answers to specific questions.
The request reads as follows:
The 2018 Cruise Ship Season is upon us and we know the story with the buses BUT…
- With roughly 60 buses out of service on any given day
- And the fact that the new Breakaway carries 500+ passengers more than the original Breakaway and on Wednesdays when there are two ships DPT couldn’t handle the load last year
- What’s the plan this year ESPECIALLY for west end residents like me who get to watch fully loaded buses drive past me DAILY!
- We know two new buses hardly make a difference
- We know there is some sort of ongoing breakdown between management, who order parts or apparently they don’t due to budget constraints – how do you expect mechanics to work without parts needed
- The buses already too old are run constantly around the clock
- Do we have enough minibuses for the season
- Ferries, etc