Transport Minister Walter Roban issued an open invitation for residents to have their voices heard on the way forward for public transportation in Bermuda.
In a Ministerial Statement delivered in the House on Friday, the Minister followed through on the Throne Speech promise to deliver the 2018 Transport Green Paper will deliver “forward thinking solutions” by early June.
More than 50 local and overseas stakeholders have been consulted so far. A social media campaign and two surveys will also be launched shortly with a view to producing the tabulated results around April 23.
“The vision created for the 2018 Transport Green Paper is to invite public comment and discussion on the future of transportation in Bermuda, with a view to identifying and modernizing transportation efficiencies and developing policies that are realistic, fiscally prudent, and which transportation safety and experiences for all,” said Mr Roban.
“A project of this magnitude has not been undertaken since 1999 when the Ministry of Transport embarked on a comprehensive transportation initiative with a Transportation Planning Team formed for the purpose.
“The end result was ‘The National Transportation Management Report’ dated January 2, 2002.”
Moving forward, he said: “The plan is to identify realistic and fiscally prudent recommendations that will be presented to Cabinet.
The Ministry’s “five-phase action plan” will gauge public feedback on the full scope of issues, including Bermuda’s senior citizens and “persons with differently-abled needs”.
In his Ministerial Statement delivered on the floor of the House on Friday, Mr Roban said some of the “initial findings indicate something of a general consensus on issues”, including:
- having funding to upgrade our ageing transportation fleets and invest in new transport technologies such as digital tickets;
- increasing enforcement of existing legislation as it relates to road traffic management;
- providing inputs that allow for trip planning ‘Apps’; and
- focusing on safe spaces for walking and cycling.
The social media campaigns will focus on school students, “who are our future leaders of Bermuda” and a campaign directed at the public in general.
“After tabulating the survey results on or around April 23rd, the Ministry will conduct a World Café, similar to a stakeholder roundtable, to discuss the findings of the surveys,” said Mr Roban.
“There will be several options for the public to participate in the surveys online, at public libraries and Post Offices,” he added.
“The publication of the transport Green Paper is to include forward thinking solutions, and will be published in early June.”
Submissions can be sent in at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by post to the Transport Green Paper Throne Speech Initiative, The Ministry of Transport & Regulatory Affairs, TCD Building, Second Floor.
“The surveys will include a broad range of categories and include topical matters addressing safety on our roads, modernizing Bermuda’s ageing public bus and ferry fleet, the enforcement of existing legislation pertaining to taxis, minibuses, speeding, dangerous and drunk driving, bad parking and oversized vehicles,” said Mr Roban.
“Also, the Ministry of Transport will address strategies regarding electric and hybrid vehicles, minicar and motorcycle rentals, active transport, entrepreneurial opportunities, cruise ships, airport and port development.”
In closing, he urged “everyone to be involved and have their voice heard”.
Said Mr Roban: “Transportation is for all of us and the Ministry is open to all innovative ideas.”