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Donald De Riggs in a 2022 photo.
Donald De Riggs in a 2022 photo.

By Donald De Riggs           

I am not the only person clamouring for a Sunday bus service and on this occasion, I am representing the nurses, police, security guards, Sunday worshippers, seaport and airport workers, hotel staff, supermarket workers and local tourists who all suffer from the lack of a Sunday bus service in SVG. 

And here I am appealing to the minibus association to consider seriously getting its members on board and I hope they are reading.

For most Vincentians, the only time available for them to visit relatives in another part of the country is on a weekend, but particularly on a Sunday.  For others who wish to visit recreational parks or beaches, Sunday is also the most appropriate day.  For churchgoers, the place of worship of their choice may not necessarily be in their own district, and what about those people who want to visit relatives on a Sunday at the main hospital?

There are also times on a Sunday when a person becomes ill, not serious to warrant the service of an ambulance, but serious enough to warrant seeing a doctor, as most rural clinics are closed on weekends.  Once there is a Sunday bus service and the public is aware of that service, it will be used.  Now in other countries, including in nearby Barbados, there is a daily bus service ….

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Sunday to Sunday. But, of course, that is government-operated but the private bus owners there fall in line and provide a Sunday service as well.

Here in SVG, there are Adventists and other Sabbath keepers who do not operate their buses on a Saturday. So why can’t these persons operate their buses on Sundays?  Let me state here that seasonally, especially during the carnival season, buses do operate on Sundays. This is also repeated during the Christmas Sunday shopping season. We thank our minibus operators for the service at those times, but it can be scaled down and operated sensibly at other/all times of the year.

The timing of bus service is important and on Sundays, because there are limited buses on the road, they can and should operate every hour or two hours depending on the area from/to which they operate to ensure they achieve maximum capacity.  Once the public is aware of a Sunday bus service, they will fit into that schedule.

Sometimes on a Sunday, I wish I could splash under a waterfall in one of our clean rivers and feel rejuvenated, or visit an acquaintance or relative in the countryside, or attend a Sunday funeral or christening but cannot do so unless I own a vehicle or can rely on a good relative or friend with a car who has some time to spare.  Let us continue this conversation.

The Bequia Express and Admiralty transport companies have had the vision to provide a Sunday ferry service for many years now and it works. So why can’t our minibus association get their members to follow suit? Trust me in 95% + of all cases, it will be a “win-win” for both commuters and those who operate this valuable service. Let’s get some ACTION NOW.

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