Minibus operators to get training

22
Minibus operators to get training
Injuries allegedly inflicted by bus drivers on passengers.
Injuries allegedly inflicted by bus drivers on passengers.

The National Council on Public Transportation (NCOPT) plans to reintroduce the Public Service Commuter course, which was previously offered at the Sir Arthur Community College, in the near future. The course was suspended a couple of years ago.

President of the NCOPT Godfrey Ferdinand told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) in an exclusive interview today, September 2 that this move was prompted by complaints about the inappropriate behaviour of some minibus drivers on a few minibus routes on island.

Ferdinand said the council will look to have the matter discussed at greater length with the transport ministry to assist with the re-introduction of the course.

The president stated the NCOPT plans to make it mandatory, where all minibus operators will be required to complete the course, before having their licenses renewed.

He admitted that many minibus operators need training, and in some cases, retraining.

Asked to comment on recent reports of passengers being verbally and physically abused by minibus operators, Ferdinand told SNO that the NCOPT has received such reports.

However, he explained that a disciplinary committee has been put in place to deal with matters of that nature. The committee falls under the transport ministry and directed by the minister. It is headed by former speaker of the House of Assembly, Matthew Roberts. Three members each from the NCOPT and the ministry, along with the chair, sit on that committee.

Every complaint, he said, is treated seriously. An investigation is usually conducted and based on the findings, the committee institutes disciplinary action if necessary.

Ferdinand told SNO the NCOPT had situations where individuals were sent for counseling, while in some cases some of them were barred. But, on most instances, the council tries to assist defaulters to better their interpersonal and customer service skills.

“In the case where someone is hurt, the individual passenger or commuter understands that they have a legal right to report the matter to the police,” he explained.

The NCOPT president asserted that that type of hostile and inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated within the sector and the disciplinary committee will ensure that this happens.

Asked whether he believes that minibus operators are aware that a hike in minibus fare has not taken effect, Ferdinand said 99 per cent of the bus drivers are. However, he stated that there are some drivers who would want to beat the system by demanding more money. He said in such cases, passengers are urged to contact the council, to make an official complaint, and the matter will be investigated.

Ferdinand told SNO he is hopeful that there will be changes in the negative behaviour exercised by some minibus operators with the reintroduction of the training course.

(0)(0)

No posts to display

22 COMMENTS

  1. Well we all can identify and say change is needed with some bus drivers. Some of their behaviours are just unacceptable. I hope with the future increase that some of it is used to fix their uncomfortable seats.

    (0)(0)

  2. mr ferdinard some of these mini buses have some uncomfortable seats. u can barely stretch your knees. in case of an accidents your legs will be broken very quickly. please check in to these so call mini buses. the drivers want and increase and we the commuters have no choice in paying but at the same time our safety is being compromised with these ridiculous seats.

    (0)(0)

  3. I swear, sometimes when I look up the word "idiot" in the dictionary I see "a person driving a passenenger minibus"

    (0)(0)

  4. Teach dem defensive driving too with all the damn they doing on the road. Most times they are the cause if accidents if not involved. And teach them to only stop on the bus stops to pick up ppl cause thats where they want to drop off passengers.

    (0)(0)

    • some of urll lucians are too damn lazy and blame the drivers. Urll stand metres away from the bus stop and want the buses to stop for urll there

      (0)(0)

  5. Some of these driver are also educated enough to know what is right or wrong, they are just greedy and ignorant.

    (0)(0)

  6. It was about time! To all those foolish ppl commenting unless youre a victim you wont know how it feels. Ive been disrespected by minibus drivers and would simply say let God handle it but it got to the point where i had to go to the ministry. Its time those idiots get some training.

    (0)(0)

  7. Until the Government properly regulates the transportation sector, service will never change. Public transportation would be a welcomed change to the transportation sector.

    (0)(0)

  8. The problemis not the bus drivers in most cases its the commuters our st lucian people are too ignorate they want to control the bus and the drivers like the driver is their slave they never have enough money to pay and want to complain about everything.the bad drivers are those who do not own their bus.They work for a boss who sits in an ac office or in the police force.Do a survey and you will find out that pudlic servants own most minibuses with more that one.

    (0)(0)

  9. There are some things that I accept every time I come back home for vacation. One of them is my physical safety is compromised. Just leaving the airport starts my increased risks. There are many times I met a driver who wants to speed/overtake around the corners. He eventually slows when I tell him emphatically, "what the hell you think you are doing?" The minivans are another story. Some of the guys are real good in terms of safety...as good as great bus drivers in the US. However, there are some morons who don't even look back before pulling off, or drive too fast with passengers. Unfortunately, you can't tell the good from the bad, until you are screwed.

    (0)(0)

  10. yes uh they to damn greedy and need training they dont even want to put the ac on when rain falling for people but when is the tourist they pirate, their ac on full blast and talkn alot of broken english and even yankin like they them selves just come down and we the normal commuters have to dry and sweat in the bus

    (0)(0)

  11. Sad you send goats to school if they are not open to what the instructor is teaching they will graduate as Goats. The NCOPT should get some balls and blacklist all those who do not successfully pass the training. Just like everything else shape up or ship out. Some bus drivers pull up at gas stations with a bus load of commuters. Accident waiting to happen. Why did you allow VF Bus Co to own a gas station in Mon Repos - the middle of their route? Why is it the VF drivers stop to pick up passengers from bexon enroute to castries. Why do you force four (4) passengers on the back seat of the Hiace Mid Roof? Why is it so? How often do you drivers jumpsit on your route to experience how your commuters are feeling in the back?

    (0)(0)

  12. Amen it was about time.many of them have no manners , discipline, home training they think they can do what they want with a passenger because they owned the vehicle.transportation passenger is a responsibly and very serious job..the lives of the passengers is in your hands..don't drink and drive, don't smoke in the vehicle while transporting passages. because second hand smoking is dangerous .do not exceed the speed limit.thank you.

    (0)(0)

  13. FAIL!!!!!

    It has to do with the Caliber of illiterate, ignorant, perhaps victims of abuse-when growing up, failed school "Projects" who have failed from all walks of life,and are now driving a passenger VAN for a living.

    No course on etiquette, proper driving management will make those people better.

    WE NEED PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION NOW!!!

    (0)(0)

    • Come on AB or BA!!
      Like you rightly said, they are victims for whatever reason.
      So do we just cast them aside?
      Or try to help.
      In most situations victims are crying out for help. The more they retaliate, the more they are in need of help.

      (0)(0)

  14. Amen! Is was about time...many of them bouth their license,,pkease train then how to be polite,honest respectful ,hamble ,calm and most of all is their hygiene. Don't forget their drinking and smoking Hobbits while on duty!

    (0)(0)

Comments are closed.