Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 20th 2014 Contents 300 buses available for use
throughout T&T, however it was
not enough to meet the demands
of the public.
In the first quarter of last year,
Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine
announced that 17,500 govern-
ment vehicles would be converted
to CNG, which resulted in mixed
reactions from the public. Ram-
narine then announced a five-
year project, to be undertaken by
the National Gas Company
(NGC), which would see the con-
version of the vehicles as well as
the establishment of 22 CNG
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt July 20, 2014
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In an effort to make public
transportation more efficient
and cost effective, the Govern-
ment has purchased 35 new CNG
Transport Minister Stephen
Cadiz told the Sunday Guardian
in a phone interview on Wednes-
day that a $20 million downpay-
ment was made to secure the
buses. Cadiz, however, did not
say what was the total cost of the
buses, which are being bought
from a Chinese company. He also
did not name the company.
The Public Transport Service
Corporation (PTSC) said in a
release that the new buses are
expected to arrive in the country
by November 2014. The new
buses would be used along the
East/West Corridor where there
is the highest population density.
Cadiz said a natural gas line
would be piped into the PTSC
hub at South Quay to supply the
buses with CNG.
Cadiz also assured that there
were no plans to privatise PTSC.
He said while the ministry was
moving to improve PTSC s effi-
ciency, this would not come as
an additional cost to the travelling
public. He said while the public
transportation system would
remain subsidised, the subsidy
needed to be better managed.
Cutting the cost of operations,
he said, would assist in better
managing the subsidy. He said
the conversion to CNG as well as
the use of dual fueled buses (CNG
as well as diesel) would help to
Cadiz said the ministry had set
up a bus rationalisation commit-
tee to access which buses are best
for various routes, to streamline
the model and make of buses
used, and create "proper transit
hubs" throughout the country.
The Transport Minister said
PTSC s service remained largely
inefficient since approximately
24 different models and makes
of buses were being used which
resulted in increased costs for
spare parts as well as servicing.
Currently, he said, there were
Govt buys 35 new CNG buses
...this will make public transport more efficient---Cadiz
The woman in the line waiting for a bus
to Point Fortin drew the attention of all of
those around her, shouting, "I want a bus
now! We tired stand up here! Them inside
of there know what customer service is?"
Approximately half an hour after her rant,
a bus arrived. Those who stood in line
claimed they waited for approximately
two-and-a-half hours for a bus to come.
One woman, in the Diego Martin line,
said long waits were the norm at the
South Quay hub. For some, the solution to
the problems would be privatisation.
One passenger, when asked what was
needed to improve the system, said, "As
I've had to use the bus system for the past
few months, here is my take on things:
Repair or replace the existing buses as
many are in a state of utter degradation,
belching nasty black smoke, leaking either
from the rain or air conditioning.
"Place sun shields in all buses, not just the
"Get more comfortable buses on the
longer journeys---Port-of-Spain, Siparia,
Point Fortin, Princes Town, Sangre Grande
etc. Put more buses on the route from
Port-of-Spain to Siparia, Point Fortin,
Barrackpore, Princes Town to avoid the
long lines and rush.
Permanent lines for different routes at
the terminus would be most helpful as
many don't know where to go, another
"More seating is urgently needed as
waiting for long periods is distressing.
Pest control---get rid of the flying rats AKA
pigeons who defecate on everything and
everyone! They are a menace as they carry
disease and also have the environment
smelling and looking nasty. Privatisation
may be a welcome change as they would
run a system for profit---not as a charity.
Also, there needs to be training of bus
drivers as many know nothing of
An overhead view of a ageing fleet at PTSC's maintenance bay in City Gate, Port-of-Spain, on Friday. The
Government has purchased 35 new CNG buses which are expected to arrive in November.
Passengers wait to board a PTSC bus at the City Gate transit hub in Port-of-Spain, on Friday.
PHOTOS: CLYDE LEWIS
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