Mr. Speaker, on 18 February 2022, I advised the Honourable House that 30 new buses had arrived and would be operational after decommissioning and the Department of Public Transport’s bus operators and garage staff had received training on the buses.
Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to confirm that the buses were operational during the first week of April.
Mr. Speaker, the Department’s mission is to move Bermuda with a quality bus service. Over the last eight weeks, the Department has delivered consistent and reliable service without mass cancellations. Even after deploying public buses to ensure students arrived at school safely and on time this past Monday, there was only one cancellation to the published schedule, a marked improvement over summer last year when cancellations were up to fifty a day. We have turned the corner, per se!
Mr. Speaker, the Government is committed to transitioning to a more sustainable and more intelligent public bus system that improves the quality of life for our residents. Under Phase 2 of the bus replenishment project, the Ministry will purchase ten additional new electric buses over the next few months, making almost fifty per cent of the fleet electric. The Ministry also intends to bring legislation to lay the foundation for fare digitization.
Mr. Speaker, the electric buses have only been operating for over two months. The feedback from residents is that the journey on the new buses is a more enjoyable experience with a quiet, smooth ride and no exhaust fumes at the bus stops.
Mr. Speaker, I take this opportunity to thank the hardworking staff at the Department of Public Transportation for their cooperation with integrating the new electric buses into the public bus schedule.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker!