A new bus schedule was designed to cut down on cancellations because of vehicle shortages, the director of the transport department said yesterday.
Despite the last buses on some popular routes running earlier, Roger Todd, head of the Department of Public Transportation, claimed that the new schedule would allow for “a reliable public bus service”.
He added: “For the travelling public, the new schedule will eliminate daily cancellations related to a shortage of buses. For the DPT operations team, it will provide a more predictable and workable schedule.
“For the maintenance team, it will provide better access to vehicles for repairs and preventive maintenance.”
The new schedule will take effect on January 7.
Mr Todd said that the full schedule would be published “in the coming weeks”.
A list of 13 highlights of the new schedule was revealed yesterday.
The document said that all route 7 and 8 buses heading west will end at the Dockyard depot and all route 10 and 11 buses to the east will terminate at the St George’s depot.
It added that buses will no longer end their runs at the Grotto Bay Hotel in the east and Barnes Corner in Southampton.
The number 9 Prospect bus will run every 15 minutes during the morning rush hour and every 30 minutes at peak times in the afternoon.
The fact sheet said the “additional service was added to better service the school students and commuters in the area”.
The times of night buses on several routes have also changed.
The last bus on route 7 will leave the West End depot an hour earlier at 9.20pm.
The last bus on route 8 will leave the depot at 11.35pm instead of 11.59pm.
The last number 7, 10 and 11 buses will depart from Hamilton 15 minutes earlier.
The numbers 7 and 10 will leave at 9pm and the last number 11 bus will leave at 11.30pm.
The last bus on route 8 out of Hamilton will leave ten minutes earlier, at 11.35pm.
Mr Todd said the new schedule would be implemented “for an initial period of one year”.
He added: “Performance of the new schedule will be assessed and adjustments made as required.”
Mr Todd said that two bus schedules, a winter and a summer, were used each year. He added that schedules were changed over the year to take account of school terms.
Mr Todd said: “When school is in, we run the winter schedule and when school is out, we run the summer schedule.”
He added that changes to the summer schedule would be considered after the new winter schedule was up and running.
Zane DeSilva, the Minister of Tourism and Transport, said the new schedule benefited the public as well as bus operators. He added: “Most importantly, it can be sustained with our current fleet of buses.”
Mr DeSilva said: “I am confident this is the best way to ensure an efficient and reliable service.”
He said he had been “concerned” by frequent bus cancellations and their impact on the public. Mr DeSilva said the new schedule was a “long-awaited achievement” and that the work of Walter Roban, the former transport minister, was “instrumental”.
He thanked the Department of Public Transportation and the Bermuda Industrial Union for their “collaborative efforts”.
Chris Furbert, the president of the Bermuda Industrial Union, said yesterday was a “great day”.
He added: “It’s taken 17 years for us to devise the new bus schedule.”
Mr DeSilva said earlier this week that transit workers had agreed to begin shifts 15 minutes earlier than the present start to suit the new schedule.
• To see the list of all 13 features of the new schedule provided this morning, click the PDFs under “Related Media”