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Discussions are underway for the development of a Territorial Transportation Policy and Emergency Response Plan.
Acting Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works, Mr. Andrew St. Hilaire outlined the progress made by the ministry in the development of a plan for improving the public transportation bus service elements at a recent meeting with a number of key stakeholders in transportation.
Mr. St. Hilaire said, “We have been working to establish plans to improve the bus service throughout Tortola but we are aware that a multi-modal transportation is inevitable for the Territory which will allow greater accessibility to the islands throughout the Territory.”
He stated that works have started including identifying some 84 bus stops, designs for the various types of stops, the times and frequencies for the buses and the various controls and regulatory requirements that would be needed, including scheduling and fares.
“We are aware that the policy must take into consideration various aspects of transportation through public and private endeavours. We will develop a policy that addresses the issues related to national security, globalisation, deregulation and privatisation and trends in transportation systems, as well as the various instruments that will help to support and sustain a Territorial Transportation System,” Mr. St. Hillarie further explained.
The meeting encouraged in depth discussions about the preparation and actions that would be needed to design a system that can accommodate the needs of residents and visitors alike, fully considering the geographical spread of the islands.
Director of the Department for Disaster Management (DDM), Ms. Sharleen DaBreo, MBE explained that the policy and plan would be necessary to guide the further development of emergency procedures that would be needed in the event of major emergencies occurring within the transportation network.
Ms. DaBreo said, “We have therefore reached out to the Emergency Management Accreditation Programme (EMAP) to guide this discussion so that we are aware of the standards that would be needed for the development of these procedures.”
The team from EMAP will provide further clarity on what will be needed to fully develop the Virgin Islands Territorial Transportation Policy and Plan.
A draft of the Transport Policy is expected to be presented to Cabinet within three months and will include recommendations on the development of an appropriate set of concepts and proposals that can be established to support the functioning and performance of a Territorial Public Transportation system.