Drivers of the government-owned school buses have been warned against using the vehicle for anything other than for the transportation of students.
Minister of Transport and Works, Montgomery Daniel, while speaking on NBS Radio’s ‘Face to Face’ programme on February 23, said there were reports coming in regarding what he termed as the “use, misuse and abuse” of the said vehicles.
“The Ministry of Transport and Works cannot accept the excuses that would come in from time to time in terms of the use of the buses, particularly on the weekends when a number of buses are being seen about the country,” Daniel said.
“So…. (and) we have asked the police to assist in this regard where if a school bus is found on the streets on weekends without the approval of the Permanent Secretary (within the Ministry of Transport and Works), that the bus must be taken away and kept until the Permanent Secretary is contacted and we proceed to have other actions done.”
Back in 2017, the government handed over 10 second-hand school buses. (eight purchased with a US$300,000 donation from Taiwan and two paid for by government) to private operators, under certain terms and conditions, including that leases then were allowed to operate the bus for the transportation of members of the general public, outside of school hours
“So, I am asking the bus drivers to comply with the regulations as to the use of these buses,” Daniel said.
Daniel also alluded to staff enhancements at BRAGSA, which is responsible for servicing and repairing the buses, so as to decrease the turnaround time.
Mention was also made that Cabinet was expected to give its approval to a proposal for the purchase of two new school buses to add to what Daniel described as “an aging school bus fleet.”