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MLA says changes needed in public bus system

Lawmaker Kenneth Bryan says bus drivers and the Public Transport Unit need to do more to ensure they bring their safety standards in line with what obtains internationally.

“As we saw with the recent conference on the NRA and its international speaker. They spoke about the type of system we currently have, which is an ad hoc, pick up and drop off for persons who need to use the bus services. And throughout the conference, we found out that’s the most unsafe type of system,” said Mr. Bryan.

The George Town Central MLA said beyond that, the way the system currently operates causes drivers to put road users’ safety at risk.

“Right now there is a lot of competition on the road that needs to be regulated because it causes the drivers to drive faster than normal,” the MLA for George Town Central said.

David Hayles, a bus operator who works the George Town to East End route, told Cayman 27 that the bus drivers are doing their best with what they have.

“We don’t have enough space, as I said, and therefore, we are not able to pull over on every soft shoulder. As a matter of fact, some of the roads here have no soft shoulder. So we stop as neatly and as nicely as we can,” he said.

Mr. Hayles also said some road users do not demonstrate courtesy toward bus drivers and that adds to the problem.

“After letting off the passengers, to go back on the road, we are not given any bligh by other motorists, so it is a sense of selfishness, so therefore, there is congestion. Sometimes we have to force our way back onto the road,” said Mr. Hayles.

Mr. Bryan said this is where international standards come into play. He suggested there be specific bus stops to prevent drivers from stopping on a whim. He also believed new regulations could resolve some of these issues.

“We can also address regulations through traffic law to assist the bus driver, so that drivers in front and behind them know to give way to the bus drivers,” the MLA said.

Mr. Bryan referred to these steps as “low hanging fruit” that can be dealt with on the way to a full overhaul of the transport system.

Cayman 27 reached out to the PTU for comment. However, the organisation has not yet responded.

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