The rebuilding of the Sanitation Service Authority’s (SSA) fleet remains a priority for Government, says Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Ryan Straughn.
He made the comments recently as he participated in a press conference at the Central Bank, to wrap up a series of Government and International Monetary Fund meetings.
Straughn said: “The SSA is currently spending quite a bit of money on repairing the existing fleet whilst we acquire additional trucks…. The fleet of the SSA is going to be rebuilt, [but]it will take some time to do so.
“At the appropriate time, the Minister [with responsibility for the SSA]will advise the country in terms of the other plans… to increase the fleet.” He stated that there would be an improvement in the quality of service at the Authority.
But, the Minister stressed that the payment of the Garbage and Sewage Contribution, which Government introduced last year, was critical since the money collected finances the state-owned SSA.
With regard to the Transport Board, Straughn said the organisation was in the process of acquiring buses and the tendering arrangement was being completed. He anticipated those buses would be on the road by the middle of next year.
He stressed, however, that at the appropriate time, the Ministry with responsibility for transportation would speak about the various reforms.
“But we are relooking everything we do with respect to business in Barbados and that includes logistics, and transportation is a critical part of that because if you can’t move people, goods, information or garbage it means the country will be in gridlock,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Minister in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Investment, Marsha Caddle, said the Transport Board had increased the number of vehicles in operation on a daily basis by improving maintenance of the existing fleet.
“We know that more buses…and more reforms to public transport are required, but I want to say that even while we are waiting for those buses, the Transport Board is not sitting idly by. They are doing all they can, in terms of regular maintenance, to be able to make sure that the current fleet is operational…,” Caddle stated.