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Transport minister calls for improved public transportation system

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Contact: Adhara King


Thursday,  February 19, 2009 –  The Minister responsible for Transport, Honourable Guy Joseph says Saint Lucia has reached the point where public transportation should be guaranteed at all times.


The Minister said the challenge within the transportation sector is not about acquiring diverse modes of public transport, but to maximize the efficiency of the current system.


A more reliable system, Joseph said, would provide service to key areas around the clock.


“There are first world countries where its not available around the clock in certain communities. So I may not agree that we need it in every single area because it may not be profitable, and somebody would have to bear the cost of doing this. Would the government bear the cost of doing this? Or would the transportation sector bear the cost? These are determinations that we would have to make as we move along,” said Joseph.


The Minister noted that while taxis are considered public transportation, their affiliation with the tourism industry allows them to employ different standards.


The challenge in the evolution of public transportation mainly lies with the minibus sector, Joseph said, and as such he is working with them to facilitate the process.


“Within the taxi sector, the service is readily available. Any time you need a taxi, you basically have that on stream. Persons make their arrangements in advance, and they have a taxi service available. The taxi service is very efficient as far a providing the service. It’s left to the minibus sector to step up and provide the all round service that is required within the sector,” said Joseph.


There needs to be more order in the system, Joseph said, thus the introduction of a night-time schedule for the minibus sector may be a feasible means of beginning the transition.


Minister Joseph indicated that he addressed the last Convention of the National Council on Public Transportation on the issue.

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