Commuters Encouraged to know their Rights

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Commuters making use of the Transport Augmentation Programme (TAP) are being encouraged to know their rights. This is from Chief Operations Officer of the Transport Board, Lynda Holder who stressed that persons over the age of 65 years old and school children in uniform are exempt from paying bus fare on board TAP vehicles. She further emphasized that it was against the rules of the Transport Board for persons to be charged based on the number of packages they take on board.

Mrs Holder said it had been brought to their attention that some TAP operators were charging persons who are over 65 years of age. She explained that by law, persons in this category are allowed to travel free of charge on board any public service vehicle operated by the Transport Board once a valid identification card is produced. She added that the same rule applies to school children, once the students are in uniform and/or produce a valid form of ID, they are not required to pay bus fare.

In addition, members of The Barbados Police Service along with staff of the Transport Board are also allowed to ride free of charge on TAP vehicles, once they produce the relevant identification. “The TAP operator is supposed to take note of the commuters on their way bills, submit this information to the Transport Board and then we, in turn, will invoice the relevant ministries,” Mrs Holder disclosed.

Commuters have also complained about being charged for the number of packages that they take on the bus. Mrs Holder once again emphasizes that this is against the rules and policies of the Transport Board.

“What we ask passengers to do, out of consideration for the size of the vehicle, [is] that they be considerate to their fellow travellers, and if you have more than two or three packages, you find a way of storing them closer to you to allow other persons to be able to access either the seats or passageway for safe travel,” she said.

The Chief Operations Officer said despite the complaints, there has been positive feedback about the Transport Augmentation Programme.

She noted that many of the operators are courteous and have been adequately servicing their routes. The TAP has also improved the Transport Board’s ability to meet its customer demand through the provision of additional units, Holder said.

“The programme was implemented to assist the Transport Board in covering the areas and routes that they could not cover because of their limitations” she explained.

TAP comprises sub-contracted public service vehicles, which operate under the rules and regulations of the Transport Board. (KS/PR/MTWW)