Bus operators petition against depot move

| 23/10/2009

(CNS): Bus operators say their business has been suffering since government moved the bus depot from the Public Library lot in George Town to the old Tower Building parking lot behind the Legislative Assembly. Talking to News 27, the drivers said that the move in February has caused a significant downturn in income and they have submitted a petition asking government to move the depot back to the library lot. Public Transportation officials say they got the petition, but say it is up to the tourism ministry. News 27 also spoke to several passengers who say the new location is too far out of the way.

Go to News 27 video
 

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  1. Bologna says:

    BT Bus # 3 – Stopping to load/unload passengers across a major intersection is extremely dangerous to road users and bus passengers. You did it on Friday evening and Saturday morning, stop it.

    • Bus't Dem says:

      NAME AND SHAME.

      Go on everyone – let’s go to the Forums and name and shame the cr@p drivers.  Use their plate numbers.  Detail it.  Take a picture!!!

      Maybe if the police see repeat references they will pay attention.

      Of course, if you believe some posters, there are only one or two bad guys – so this will also become eveident if it is the case – but I am sure we will quickly see it is WAAAAYYYY more than that!!!

       

      • Anonymous says:

        Jeezus… get a life. If passengers have any cause for concern we are quite capable of reporting the drivers ourselves.  Concentrate on the road yourself while you are driving instead of hanging onto every action of every bus driver.  It’s clear you dont use the buses yourself because you would know they’re not as bad as you’re suggesting if you did.

        All this is going a little OTT in my opinion. 

        • Bus't U says:

          Remember, to assume is to make an ASS out of U and ME.

          Been on both sides of the fence.  I choose to drive because of the horrors of the buses I have been on.  Personally I hitch or walk over risking a bus!!

          And I am fairly clear it is not EVERY bus driver – just a very significant proportion.

          If it is OTT, then there will be no need to IM me from the ER when you are in an MVA as a result of one of these AH bus drivers!

  2. Hey, she said she was single... says:

    Tell you what, when the bus drivers learn to drive, we’ll listen to their demands.

    Seriously, mini-bus drivers are the worst people on the roads in Cayman. They stop in the middle of the street to pick up people, they pull out in front of cars, they speed, they drive in reverse on the roads (they really do!), and most of their vehicles spew thick black pollution.

    Okay, not every driver is guilty of all these things, of course. There must be at leat two, maybe three, who drive safely. Maybe.

    Until the other 99 percent learn to drive, I oppose anything they want.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I fail to see the relationship between moving the bus depot and the loss of business.  If you need to catch a bus, you need to catch a bus and you will go to the bus depot wherever it is.  The downturn may well be just because there are fewer people to use the service, perhaps through unemployment, rollovers etc.  I serously doubt that just because the bus depot moved people have decided not to use the service, makes no sense to me!

    • Anon says:

      You wouldn’t think so would you?  But I catch the buses every day and I can tell you since the depot moved – there’s waaaaaay less people catching the bus – can’t tell you why but can tell you its true.  I no longer have to fight for a seat whereas I used to when we were in the old depot.

      • Bus It says:

         Perhaps it is because NOONE KNEW!!!  I certainly didn’t until this story broke!!!  I thought you just had to go on the street side when it closed down.  Seemed to be working…

        • Passenger says:

          Well thats another point – when it was moved the only reason I came to find out was because the bus drivers kindly told me when dropping me off for work the day it was changed.  I don’t recall seeing any notices posted either on the street or in the papers.

          Certainly the tourists don’t seem to know as many walk straight past the buses at the Tower Building and go sit in the old depot wondering where the buses have all gone –  I have had to redirect quite a few!

          So the public, who use the buses, have been treated very shoddily by the bus authority (many don’t even know of its existence until now!) and if it weren’t for the drivers, we’d have no information at all.  We were moved without notice, and when we asked why we were told it was just a temporary measure while the old depot next to the library was resurfaced and here we are months later non the wiser and still without a proper bus depot.  Add to that, several elderly and infirm passengers have made their way from GT Hospital to the Thompson Building by foot and sat down to wait for a bus only to be rudely told (apparently by a Transport Official) to "move on you can’t catch a bus here".

          I really hope you can inject some reality and responsibility into your office, but from thecomments already made, it looks like we have a good man for the job who is more than capable of making a difference.

  4. Anonymous says:

    In any other country, people simply make their way to where-ever the bus station is.  If you live in a bigger country than Cayman, you often have to walk long distances to catch the bus and they have designated bus stops which means that buses cannot stop anywhere they please.  The current location is handy for cruise ship passengers and tourists shopping in time.  Its also a short dstance from the old bus station.  Perhaps better signs from the cruise ship landing would encourage more passengers to explore hte Island by bus. 

  5. Bus't Them says:

    I wholeheartedly agree that a large proportion of bus drivers are completely reckless and ignorant with their driving habits.

    I suggest that a law be implemented that takes away their license for a period for a traffic violation.  These are some of the heaviest road users and as such, should be the most experienced and follow the rules.

    Furthermore, they are carrying other passengers – taking those lives into their hands, so they should be held to a higher standard.

    I am sure if the threat of losing their livlihood for a few months or years was hanging over them, they would be a lot more law abiding – rather than law ignoring.

    For the record, these are the most recent offences I have personally witnessed:

    Overtaking in the center lane.

    Banging a U-turn when they get to a round about rather than going around the round about.

    Stopping dead in the middle of the road to load passengers.

    Cruising at a snails pace past the Port in the hope of snagging a fare so they can commint the previous offence.

    Speeding.

    Riding my a$$ closer than a hemmorhoid.

    Chatting on the phone while driving WITH PASSENGERS – escapes me why they didn’t speak up, unless they were also on the phone.

    Failing to indicate.

    Cutting through gas stations and shopping plazas.

    Parking in a handicap spot.

    Parking and leaving their bus on private property.

    Should I go on?  

    I hope they realize that if they do crash and injure a passenger or other third party, they can be sued – or if it is me they hit – WILL be sued!!!

    And to the person defending them at length below, think about it – it could be YOUR life that is taken through reckless negligence.  And as for your argument about walking a little further if coming from the Hospital or Walkers’ Road, thinkof the other much happier residents of School Road and North Church Street who now have to walk less!!!

    • . says:

      I’m the person below and as I said (unlike you) I use the bus service daily.  I am not related to a bus driver, not personal friends with any of them nor do I have any other reason to favour or show bias toward them.  To put it politely I think you are exaggerating.  I already conceded below that there are a couple of drivers on my route who rarely get passengers because they act in the manner you describe but this simply is not true of all of them.  I am well aware that it is MY life at risk – that’s why I’m careful which buses I travel on.  I can’t speak for other routes but I can tell you we have some bloody good public transport drivers out there and I for one appreciate them getting me to work and back safely every day.

      • stinger says:

        Why should you ever have to worry about which bus to catch and who’s driving. If these drivers are so bad and everyone knows who they are why are they still on the road. Someones not doing their job!

        It shouldn’t be a crap shoot on wether you ge a compitent bus driver or not..thats just stupid. God forbib if they pick up a tourist and get in a reckless accident..only time will tell.

         

         

        • . says:

          But you make my post sound so negative – which it isn’t, and you make it sound like I worry – which I dont, and youalmost imply that I am saying its a lottery getting a good driver – which it isn’t.  And tourists regularly use our buses – particularly when coming in from Spotts. 

          Incidentally, the drivers we avoid don’t need to apply for work permits (before everyone starts their hatajamaican campaign on here too).

          But to answer your question anyway – because the Police, or the Government Authority, or the Public Transport Board or whoever is responsible for this are nowhere to be seen/aren’t doing anything at all. 

  6. Anonymous says:

    Maybe motorists have a different perspective…..I don’t drive so I can’t comment authoritatively on the skill or otherwise of the bus drivers.

    But I do want to say something in support of the bus drivers, because as a passenger I can honestly say that the bus drivers here are almost without exception, the friendliest, most polite, patient and helpful that I have encountered anywhere in the world. It is never too much trouble for them to give advice or directions to tourists, to answer their questions and to ensure they are delivered exactly where they want to go.  I can’t say I’ve seen that in many places that I’ve travelled (and I almost always use public transport when I travel). 

    I remember when I first arrived here, I didn’t realise that the buses stop running early in the evening. Nevertheless, when I saw one going past one night and tried to flag it down, the driver stopped to pick me up, to make sure I got home safely. And before you say he was just looking for a fare, well, he didn’t charge me, because he said it was on his way anyway, and he explained to me the hours that the buses operate, without making me feel like a fool.

    If it’s the case that a few drive a little aggressively, it’s probably true of bus drivers everywhere (and drivers in general), and I think it’s the exception rather than the rule. It’s also probably much easier to notice bad driving than good, and easy to generalise the actions of a few bus drivers to all.

    Obviously I’m speaking generally, maybe someone will come back with a bad experience (although I can’t say I’ve ever had one), but as a frequent passenger I will preemptively say again that, at least in my experience, that’s likely to be the exception, rather than the rule.

    So please don’t be too hard on them – they really are very kind, hardworking people.

    • Public Transport User says:

      Thank you – you just saved me a lot of keystrokes! 

      I had the same experience.  I came here in 2006 and didn’t realise the schedules given in the phone book were so factually incorrect and that buses actually stopped at 8.00 pm (as opposed to 11 pm weekdays and 1 am Fridays and Saturdays as advertised in the phone book).  Like you I ended up stranded, and like you I flagged down a passing bus driver who had obviously just finished his shift.  He was a BT bus driver who lived in GT.  He drove me all the way home to BT for no fare, gave me some very helpful tips and information on living in Cayman and where to visit and also advised me of the (real) bus schedule.

      Another positive experience I have had with the BT bus drivers was when I accidentally left a bag of groceries on the bus after shopping at countryside.  The driver came back to my house and dropped them back off for me (for no charge).  Yet another experience – another time I remembered all my groceries but my purse dropped out of one of my shopping bags as I got off the bus – nobody noticed at the time.  But at the end of his shift the driver must have found my purse, looked in it and seen my ID card, recognised me (those boys remember every face and where they live) and brought my purse to my house.  I have never lived anywhere either where the bus drivers have been so friendly, helpful, reliable and honest.  These guys even come and pick me up and drop me off at my door if its raining (without me asking them to).

      The funny thing is here I am 3 years later and they are still publishing the wrong information in the phone books! (See page 35/How to Get Around in the new LIME 2009/2010 Services Directory). 

       

      • Wow says:

        Ummmm…  Apparently they didn’t save you many keystrokes after all!!! 

  7. CatMan says:

    RE: 600ft to the new bus depot

    I think you might have big feet.  I get 330 meters or just under 1100 feet from the Library depot to the tower building.

    • T says:

      That’s less than 35 secs for Mr Bolt

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s almost a 1/4 mile! (1320ft)

      • Habitual Poster says:

        Help the fight against obesity, move the bus terminal to the vacant Atlantic Department Store lot. Oh wait, too close to BK!

  8. Any Mo. says:

    A bus depot can not be located next to a library, simple as that.

  9. . says:

    Its amazing how many of you car drivers have opinions about the buses, and where the bus station should be and how the bus drivers should drive and conduct themselves, and how far the passengers should have to walk (even though you pop in your cars just to get to the store at the bottom of your streets).  But for us passengers who don’t have the luxury of our own vehicles and have no choice but to catch the bus every day the buses and ouor (original) bus depot are invaluable.

    We passengers, who sit on the bus and don’t have to concentrate on the road get plenty time to see how other road users drive and boy I could tell you some stories.  All we see is you guys cutting off the buses at roundabouts in your haste to get to work and almost causing us to run off the road; refusing to let buses back out or getting frustrated at being held up for a couple of minutes when they have pulled up to pick up or drop off passengers; on your mobile phones chatting away oblivious to the traffic backing up behind you and almost causing accidents for not paying attention to what you are doing, causing both buses, and other vehicles to feel the need to get past you and get on their way.  

    Perhaps if you had to use the buses daily you would have a different opinion.  I’ve used them for several years now daily, and for the most part they are good drivers, polite and considerate to other road users and pedestrians, helpful to their passengers and do not drive half as recklessly as you suggest.  There are two on my route whose buses I won’t catch because they drive like idiots and can be rude and offensive to their passengers and other road users.  They’ve been on the road for years and are well known by police and public alike for this.  The police do nothing but the passengers on my route tend to avoid catching their buses if at all possible – the words I frequently hear are "I value my life too much to get on his bus".  Don’t tar everybody with the same brush because (as usual) its a very small element spoiling it for the rest of the drivers.  Whilst it would benefit from  more routes and later operating times (let those drinkers catch the buses home from the bars don’t let them drive), I would rather use Cayman public transport over British public transport any day.  I happen to think the bus drivers here are wonderful and I am very grateful to them for the service they provide.

    And as for the long walks to Tower Building… if for instance, you’ve already walked all the way from the Hospital or Walkers Road, you really don’t feel like walking the additional distance to the dusty dirty old car park by the Tower Building, particularly if you are hauling heavy shop where there is also no seating or shelter for the elderly or for those with shopping.

    The fact is we had a perfectly good bus station already.  The fact is we were moved from our bus station and told that it was just a temporary measure for a couple of months while it was resurfaced, and the fact is that we were then effectively "abandoned" with no notices, no information… nothing, as to when we were going to be moved back to our existing depot.  Public Transport officials owe a duty to the public to keep us informed and as usual are failing miserably on all counts. 

    If you don’t drive or travel on a bus your opinions don’t count on the question of where our bus depot is located, particularly when all your comments don’t even relate to the issue being discussed in this article.  Go make a post in the forum about it.

  10. stinger says:

    Are you kiddin me!! Too far to walk..

    Please don’t let this be your only excuse. I measured it as a 600 foot walk from the library. If thats not lazy, i don’t know what is.

    Bus drivers. Why not petition to have some improvements made to the site, something to call your own.

    I agree with Bologna, bus and taxi drivers are some of the worst drivers on the island when it comes to obeying the traffic laws. Or don’t they apply to public transport vehicles. I would think having the lives other people on your hands day after day would encourage safe driving. I’m just waiting for someone to get killed as bus passes through a corner gas station at 30mph because they are to damn impatient to wait for the traffic light.

    I could go on… but whats the point..

     

  11. Oi! Taxi and bus drivers! says:

    Oi! Taxi and bus drivers!

    The middle lane is not for overtaking.  When your livelihood depends upon your licence aggressive tailgaiting and illegal overtaking manouevres seem stupid.

    Police – hammer these bullies hard.

    • Bologna says:

      ….the little lever beside your steering wheel is called an "indicator". It is used to "indicate" when you are going to turn or pull off the road. Double yellow lines mean NO PARKING. Being a bus driver does not give you the right to park in handicapped spaces (although some of you may well be). Please take routes that avoid the roundabouts, we don’t have enough patience to even attempt to teach you how to safely use those.

      etc, etc, etc

  12. Craig Merren says:

    Here is little island suggestion we Caymanians can define.

     Buses to West Bay area (Zone A) will be tropical green, East End tropical Yellow, 7-Mile beach area tropical blue, North Side tropical pink. Or something tropical. Maybe name them Ching-Ching, Rooster, Man-A-War, Turtle Stew, Fish Tea, Run Down etc.

     North A-Zones 1, 2, 3 is GT, 7-Mile & WB X 4 buses

    North B-Zones 1, 2, 3 is GT, Bodden rd, Eastern ave, Butterfield Round about, Easterly Tibbetts H/Way, Camana Bay and onto the new by-pass to Governors Harbor/7-Mile Beach area, back town via By-Pass (thru Governors Sq, Cost-U-Less round about) X 3buses

     East A-Zones 4, 5, 6 is Crewe Rd, via towards Grand Harbor, Prospect area X 3-4 buses

    East B-Zones 7, 8, via new highway onto Savannah Newlands new HW, ICCI, Rackley Canal back out to Country side and via Shamrock Dr to GT Tower depot. X 4 small buses

     East C-Zones 9, 10 via new HW (on Shamrock Dr-Spotts Rd), Savannah Depot in Country Side area. X 4 Buses

    East C1-Zone from Country Side to B/Town. Depot will be at the parking lot adjacent to police station – NOTE: Those buses then go back town via S/Sound Rd, Walkers Rd, Tower and start again. X 4 buses

     East D-Zone Starts in parking (by BT police station) to N/Side at Chisholm supermarket & East D1-Zone: Chisholm Supermarket to C/Kai and back

    East E-Zone Starts in parking (parking lot adjacent to BT Police Station) to E/End to theReef/Morritt’s. X 2 buses

     The highway (am not in favor of calling it “Queens HW anymore …we can change that to the “Sybil McLaughlin” Highway)

     Less than 30 buses (small/large) powered by propane or battery. Options are solar powered on the bus roof.

     Passes: 1, 3, 6 months to 1 year. Senior citizen FREE (over 60)

     Options: Can carry a bicycle rack x 8 (4 front & 4 in back).

    Feed back welcome – for a better Cayman with less cars!

  13. Bologna says:

    These two locations are no more than 2 minutes walking distance apart. XXXXX Perhaps with the new found spare time they claim to have they could actually learn to drive legally and safely.

    The less passengers they have the better for all quite frankly. Perhaps with the exception of the funeral homes.

  14. Craig Merren says:

    Tower is a good location, just needs a good upgrade and good marketing. a walkway/passage on the side of Town Hall) with signs etc. I’ll be back with a resolution later.

  15. Sponge says:

    Thank you thank you thank you CNS!

    We passengers were told this was only temporary for a couple of months and then were left to put up with the new location ever since without being given any information whatsoever – just swept under the carpet and ignored.   The temp station by the Tower Building is the pits and hardly anybody uses it its way out of our way.  We want our bus depot back – you got no right to turn it into a public car park – make them that can afford cars park at the Tower Building and give us our depot back.

    Where’s that petition I musta missed it – get more out there – put one on every bus and have your passengers sign – I think you’ll find you have a huge amount of support!

    And boys I’m proud of you… x