Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Lashley: 98 per cent in uniform


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A PLEASING WIND of change has blown through the public transport sector.
As of yesterday, workers of public service vehicles (PSVs) are wearing spanking new yellow and grey shirts and black pants, and the uniform seemed to have been a welcome change for the stakeholders. Noticeably, most of those who are not yet compliant opted to wear shirts in the same shades.
Minister of Transport and Works Michael Lashley, who is also acting Attorney General, toured the River Bus Stand and other terminals yesterday morning. He said 98 per cent of the workers were in uniform on the first day.
“I am pleased with the turnout . . . . What we will do is further in the year we hope that we can standardise the colour. We wanted basically the drivers, conductors and even owners really dressed and making themselves presentable [by] enhancing themselves to the public.
“As one owner said, they don’t carry out sand and grit, they carry passengers, living people, and so it is very important. In fact, this is the first step – perception counts a lot – and I believe the Barbadian public will be pleased. We, certainly at the ministry, are very pleased with the turnout,” Lashley stated.
Noting that moral suasion had been used so far, the minister said he would be taking the Transport Authority Act to Parliament in a few weeks to make the regulations for uniforms law, which would make their wearing mandatory.
He said the regulations would also address the playing of loud music and lewd and “nasty” lyrics.
“You don’t have adults alone on the bus, but you also have schoolchildren travelling on the buses. So lewd lyrics, nasty lyrics, we want to put a stop to that too. That will be in the regulations.”
He said he would be meeting with Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite on the proposed regulations for music and the wearing of uniforms to empower the Transport Authority to enforce the measures.
While there was a plan for a projected $25 million upgrade for the terminal over four to five years, Lashley promised workers that remedial work would be done to improve the bathroom and other facilities.
The logo on the shirts makes a pledge to get passengers to their destinations safely, and workers said they were committed to sticking to it.
“We do plan to take the public there safely. Yeah, they’re [the public] in good hands. We do have some bad apples, but eventually they’ll be ruled out,” driver Richard Marshall said, adding there were some drivers who had not gone before the law courts in more than five years.
He added that driving was his livelihood, and he would not stand by and watch people come and make bad for them.
To that end, he said he would be holding Lashley to making the wearing of uniforms mandatory.

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