MLA steering towards public transport plan

| 21/05/2015 | 5 Comments
CNS Business

George Town, Grand Cayman

(CNS): Joey Hew has revealed that he is working on a national public transport plan to drive people on to buses and off the increasingly congested roads. The backbench government MLA said that Cayman cannot keep building roads to accommodate the growing traffic congestion. Speaking in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday, Hew, who is a counsellor in the tourism and transport ministry, said he had been working on a review of public transport and had already expanded bus routes.

Hew said that without a proper and reliable bus service, traffic congestion will get worse as more cars continue to be imported. But he hoped the public would embrace public transport as it was improved.

In the long-term, he said, the government had to come up with a sustainable plan to address the public transport system to offer residents that will allow them to use it in a safe comfortable environment.

He said the country needed a national plan with well-lit safe bus depots, where it would be comfortable for people to wait for buses that ran on a fixed schedule and on a strict time-table.

Hew said he had established a committee that was examining the short, medium and long term possibilities to get people onto buses for work and other journeys . He said short term plans, such as improving and expanding bus routes, was the first step but the longer terms plans called for a national public transport system.

Hew spoke about the development of the industry, not just to reduce road congestion but as another route to local employment. He said with the increase in air arrivals more people had found work on the buses but he also said the PPM government had boosted the work for taxi drivers as well and had issued dozens of new licences enable more local people to benefit from the massive success in tourism.

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Category: Local Business, Transport

Comments (5)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The new public transport committee should invite public comment. Questions such as these need to be asked and answered:
    1. I live 2 miles from the main bus routes. Why would I use the bus ?
    2. The current buses are always full when they pass the end of my road. If I am to use the bus, will there be more buses on the road, to ensure there are spaces for me at the right time of day ?
    3. Will buses all change to alternative fuels ?
    4. To replace 8 cars, we may need 1 bus. So replacing 8000 cars will mean 1000 buses need to be imported. Is the Govt prepared to allow this ?

  2. Anonymous says:

    National Decision Time: do you pay for a good bus system? The one I’ve seen that worked well. i.e., that ‘went the last mile’, was subsidised by the Government. So unless others know of wholly private funded systems that don’t just travel the main roads, we need to decide if we can afford what we want. (I think we should.)

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well done Joey, finally something progressive from the Progressives! Godspeed my friend.

    For this to work, buses will have to be good enough for regular folks to ride instead of just poor unskilled immigrants. This should not be hard. But learn a lesson from the UK’s experience of promoting public transport. Do not skimp on cost and compromise the experience. It’s not easy to compete with an individual’s own car but it is possible with some imagination and investment. The alternative is to spending enough to get people to use them instead of cars is to spend almost as much on something nobody uses… except the people that use the current “buses”. That would be pointless.

    Shame they just undermined this effort by reducing duty on gas at the pump! They should have kept that revenue and invested it in Joey’s public transport system. Oh well, as soon as the FFR is in the rear view mirror they can stick it on the credit card.

    • Anonymous says:

      Regular folks? Poor unskilled immigrants? I am a professional working in financial services and I have no problem catching the bus each day. In fact, I thoroughly enjoy my journeys on the buses. It used to be that if you paid a dollar extra the buses would take you that extra two miles and drop you on your street. I was not aware that this had changed, but I certainly hope it doesn’t as it is invaluable to those that like you live a long distance from the main bus routes, and it is particularly helpful for pensioners and mothers with children or heavy shopping who have no other way to get home.

      My problem is that they don’t run late enough into the night in the Eastern districts where I live, so I work late or I cannot get home. Similarly, if I wanted a night out and to get home safely and economically, it would be nice if we had night buses to get people home from their drinking sessions so that they do not have any excuse for driving while drunk.

  4. whayasay says:

    Great idea. If its reliable and covers a huge portion of the 24 hour day I’m certain the people will embrace it. We could even introduce “park and ride” at district boundaries. To continue, the vehicles used (buses) should be hybrid or electric. Let’s used this initiative to help reduce our carbon footprint as well.

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