by Curlan Campbell
- 40,000 vehicles in Grenada, of which 70% are privately owned
- Cashless payment system among several reforms discussed
- Sustainable Road-Based Public Transport Plan for Grenada’s public transport sector
The Grenada Transport Commission, among other key stakeholders, is mobilising to conduct a thorough assessment of Grenada’s current public transport sector, with the view of establishing a well structured and regulated and inclusive public transportation system.
A cashless payment system is among several reforms discussed under the Sustainable Road-Based Public Transport Plan for Grenada’s public transport sector.
The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is conducting country-level case studies in St Lucia and Grenada, taking a closer look at the main challenges in the sector affecting the quality and efficiency of public transport services and providing recommendations for improvement.
The official launch of the Sustainable Road Based Public Transport Plan For Grenada took place on Wednesday, 9 March 2022. Frederic Lloveras, a Civil and Traffic Engineer expert with the consulting firm Multicriteria Planning (MCRIT), outlined many of the steps to develop a comprehensive plan that caters to the needs of the public at large.
MCRIT is among a consortium of consulting firms selected for the 54-week project to conduct studies that will examine options for achieving sustainable public transport. Reducing environmental, social and economic impacts, including greenhouse gas mitigation, improving resilience to natural disasters and mitigating health and safety risks will build a safer, healthier, more reliable, affordable and responsive society.
During his presentation, Lloveras identified several lags or gaps in territorial coverage of transportation in Grenada, including regulation and use of bus terminus, absence of scheduled timetable for buses, unavailability of buses at certain critical hours, especially at night.
He believes that any transport system must balance and serve both the interests of the private and public sectors. He also highlighted the security threat posed by using cash only, especially at night, as a critical component that must be considered once their assessment has started.
“We are also checking experiences in other countries where they are moving to a cashless system where you buy the ticket outside the bus, so the driver collects the tickets as a piece of paper or maybe a contactless system so that they don’t need to carry cash which increases a security risk mostly in specific areas during specific times of the day,” Lloveras said.
The study will also propose an appropriate institutional framework, including legal, regulatory and policy measures, and practical investments. In addition, it should consider issues closely related to land use and suggest measures to curb the growing demand for private cars. This will also include the renewal of the fleet of transportation to the more sustainable zero-carbon emission vehicles. Lloveras said some of these measures will not be implemented overnight but will require long-term planning.
“To develop a programme to transition to allow only zero carbon emissions buses. Most of these ideas will not be changed the day after tomorrow, this will take time and some of them will take more time than others so actually, the plan is to do a set of proposals but also an implementation plan where we can separate plans that can be taken care of in the short term, medium-term or long term. What we want to do is to improve the quality of the fleet by going to more sustainable vehicles. The aim of this is to remove the use of private vehicles and encourage reduce the use of single-occupancy vehicles to reduce congestion and all the externalities and impacts of private transport,” he said.
Following Wednesday’s launch of the plan, a roadmap has been set for stakeholder and public engagement to develop the plan for Grenada. These include workshops, household surveys, field data gathering to access the current state of transport to encourage a participatory process in stakeholder engagement.
Head of Infrastructure Partnerships at the Caribbean Development Bank Andrew Dupigny pointed to other areas that must be given focus to achieve a transport system that considers the needs of the public at large. He said such a system must be well designed to overcome physical and cultural barriers and must be aligned with CDB’s strategic plans and the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly regarding empowering and promoting the social, economic and political inclusion of all regardless of gender, including people with disabilities.
“The safety of segments of the public transport system is another major concern for stakeholders, with negative perceptions being held by many. Security is also an issue, including incidences of sexual harassment and gender-based violence in vehicles and public transport facilities. The gender imbalance persists in respect of both jobs in the transport sector and it is dominated by men. On the subject of inclusion, we also know that people with disabilities tend to be transported disadvantaged with services and facilities that are inadequate in meeting their needs,” Dupigny said.
Minister of Infrastructure Development, Public Utilities, Transport & Implementation at Government of Grenada Norland Cox was particularly pleased with the start of the consultative process towards the reform of the transport sector. He highlighted the need to look closely at the cost of transportation in Grenada.
“The whole issue of cost is also one that we need to look at. We ought not to be increasing prices without any clear determination as to why we increase or even how much we increase. Sometimes we increase and we are not sure that the amount that we increase by whether it is satisfactory for the people participating in the sector, so those are some of the issues we are trying to address.”
There are around 40,000 vehicles in Grenada, of which 70% are privately owned. Therefore, the issue of parking requires urgent attention. Regarding the move towards more energy-efficient and eco-friendly vehicles, Cox said it is hoped that the Government of Grenada can lead by example to increase the government’s fleet of electric vehicles by 25%.
This article seems to suggest that the short comings of public transport seems new. They were PTS Public Transportation System and NTS National Transportation System. They both failed as they were poorly managed by the government.
I don’t think a survey is needed. The responses to this article are more than sufficient.
This is what happens when there is a disconnect that those in charge become so oblivious. Spending money to find out what they already know.
Hi. Good night. Is it possible for me to have a conversation with you regarding this?
Why you didn’t do that YEARS ago? Stupes. Everything they doing now is cheap tricks. Keith have plenty time to do anything he wanted already. Ring that bell so we can kick your corrupt bum out the country.
This is a commedy of errors. For years in comming to Grenada, bus service users have paid hard earned cash to travel on family transit vans. Grenada does not have a public transport system.
Drivers work ethics
Bus drivers as well as their conductors are at best dressed in dirty smelly clothes,
The bust seats at best are thread bare and absolutely dirty
Most conductors are rude and are only interesting in keeping their eyes out for road pick ups.
Taxi as opposed to buses
Most of us use taxis in order to avoid catching diseases from the filthly buses.
Over loaded and uncomfortable
People are packed arm pit to armpits and still more are collected on the way. Would you believe tah there are times when people are sitting ontop one another?
Where are the bus inspectors? Is it because many police are bus iwners why this goes unnoticed?
Road unworthy Buses
Some of the buses are in need of repair. I drew the bust terminus attendant to a bus whise rear door was cardboard and the seats awfully broken and covered in dirt.. The attendant responded, ‘it passed it MOT’ To top it up the music are so vile and disrespectful to women. Each and every song is about what man do to woman and woman organs. This is unheard of on any civilised society buses that I have travelled upon..
Some Drivers behave as if they are doing you a favour.
Grenada Ministry of transport
It is time that the Grenada ministry of transport move forward into the real world of service-worthy puplic transport. Public Transport ought not to be under the authority of the police. There must be a separated transport system. This must be Staffed with Responsible and Accountable People Conscious Personnel, who are there to service Grenadians and its visitors transport needs.
Drives are constantly putting human lives in danger by playing Russian Roulette on the road.
I am a seasoned traveller.
Most Countries that I have visited have a regulated, transport dystem. For example; timetables, shift work day and night buses, inspectors, trained busdrivers and a customer complaint system.
In 2010 upon boarding a Grand Anse bus at Morne Rouge, the conductor in a hurry to over take his competitor, pushed me into the bus. The rest is history. Hospital visits, MIR scans, 3 nerves in my neck damaged.
Did any one took responsiblity. Of course not. Finally my insurance company gave up the chase in finding the real owner of that particular bus.
Years later my neck pains.
Public transport does not exist in Grenada. What we have are drivers who use their family transit vans as a means of earning money. They have no interest in customer care, health, hygiene and safety.
Our government keeps on preaching ‘pure Grenada’, ‘environment protection’, ‘climate change’, and that the economy is booming. What is booming is the rise in private car ownerships. Only, because we the public reso4ect and value our lives. We want to enjoy Grenada and return to base uninjured.
All tack and no implementation
Our Government needs to stop talking and implement. They are talking so loud that we the public cannot see what they are doing in terms of ‘public transport’.
Election carrot to the loyal rabbits.
Watch this space! This talk about ‘PUBLIC TRANSPORT is merely mouth open words jump out. Only fools and donkeys and those blind to realism of their environment and government psychological politricks would fall for it.
So agan I and many others say, watch this space.
Remember the money that was given by the pope to refurbish the library?
Watch library crumble into rubbles.
Renember the money tat was given to this present Government to refurbish the Grenville historical church? It is now a heap of rubbles nuturing, not the spirit of the Grenadians public, GRASS.
Our government speak with fork tongue.
Watch that Transport development space post election.
Very well said. This hit the nail on the head several times. Every point made is very and real. They’re spending money to find out things that you could submit in a report.
Thanks for Sharing.
This is just talk because the current administration is not concerned about the public as such they are more focus on short term projects which is an insult based on how long they have been in administration.
Now tell me if any of these suggestions will work when the bus stickers are issued with very little conditions as most bus owners mostly run their buses on peak hours because it’s more lucrative for them.
There is no set schedule to operate therefore they run their buses to maximise profit and forget about the average travelling public.
Like I say it all sounds great on paper but in reality it won’t work unless the administration put strict rules in place with the stickers.
Its about time the “Buses” system is overturned. Throughout the Caribbean using the “Buses” is nothing short of a nightmare. We have been on a bus with drunken drivers, loud ear splitting music, crammed in and very uncomfortable along with there bad driving mentality. Of course there are great drivers and incredible helpful ones too. How about a tram style system in the area of St George with an electric bus (Solar Powered of course) that goes round and round so that the “car” can park outside the main areas (some access will be needed but restricted to certain times) With plenty of these tram buses that serve the people. In other areas what about a similar system that has a regular timetable its got to help the LOCALS and one that they are proud to share with the Tourist and Visitors, but getting cars off the road is nessacary for the environment, the health of our children, pollution so many reasons why. Having lived in Nice where the main road was jammed with traffic to see it replaced by trams was incredible, clean, easy to use, accessible for the blind, disabled and the elderly. Now the city is clean, traffic free with a green park in the middle which is just stunning. Grenada can do it !
How about the creation of youth employment, upgraded medical care, and a real effort to fight crime?
What took you guys so long..
This is a great idea .