STATEMENT BY HONOURABLE KYE RYMER
MINISTER FOR TRANSPORTATION, WORKS AND UTILITIES
ON MINISTRY UPDATE
AT THE NINTH SITTING OF THE SECOND SESSION OF THE FOURTH
HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
JUNE 19TH 2020
Mister Speaker, I rise to provide this Honourable House with an update on the many historic and exciting initiatives the Ministry of Transportation, Works and Utilities is currently implementing.
Mister Speaker, in an effort to make the city of Road Town more pedestrian friendly and to alleviate traffic and parking congestion the Ministry is implementing a sequence of projects to make this possible. We have just completed the implementation of the Traffic Turnaround which took effect on Monday 15th June, with great success.
Mister Speaker, the hard working teams of the Ministry of Transportation Works and Utilities are now diligently working on the implementation of the City Park and Ride Shuttle Service. Due to Covid -19, it has now been decided to also use the services as an opportunity to provide an economic stimulus option for taxi operators who may be experiencing reduced income because of the closure of our borders.
Mister Speaker, in light of this, the Ministry has convened a series of meetings with taxi operators throughout the territory, to bring this stimulus incentive into effect. Our first meeting was held on Tortola on 13th June with over 20 persons in attendance. Mister Speaker, today, 19th June we met with Taxi Operators on Jost Van Dyke to discuss the stimulus package that will be specific to them. Our next meeting on Tortola is scheduled for 20th June, where we hope to finalize our implementation strategy of the Park and Ride Service.
Mr. Speaker, other meetings to address the stimulus package with taxi operators on Virgin Gorda and Anegada, will take place within the upcoming weeks.
The Park and Ride Shuttle service is slated to begin with a soft start on Monday 29th June. Motorists will be able to park at no cost on the Festival Grounds, adjacent to the Social Development Department and Sugar Works Museum or the Parking lot across from the Dr. D. Orlando Smith Hospital.
Mister Speaker, it is important to note that while these are designated parking lots with free parking, passengers are welcomed to board any of the shuttles at their designated stops along the routes. Pedestrians navigating between the Port Purcell Roundabout to Prospect Reef Roundabout route will be able to use the free shuttle service. The hours of operation will be Monday to Friday from 6:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m. daily from both locations. A shuttle will leave the designated starting points every 15 minutes.
Mister Speaker, health and safety measures in this new regular will be maintained and patrons are reminded, “No Mask, No Service”.
Mister Speaker, as we continue to develop and improve “Our little city, with a big heart” the remaining phases for the construction of a Pedestrian-Friendly Road Town includes:
1. Installation of an additional lane going westbound coming out of Administration Drive onto Waterfront Drive to support vehicle capacity, enabling traffic flow towards the western part if Tortola; and
2. Paid Parking lots within the Road Town area.
Mister Speaker, Motorists, and other road users are to be cautious when using the roads. I encourage them to adhere to all traffic lights within the Territory, buckle up and be careful. Remember, “Safe Driving Saves Lives”
Mister Speaker, I appreciate your indulgence, in allowing me to update this Honourable House.