The Ministry of Transport continues to provide assistance to bus operators to help them improve compliance with Covid-19 protocols and to cope with the economic impact of the pandemic.
Through the Ministry’s programme of support, bus operators are provided with sanitisation fluid and masks to augment their personal supply. The Ministry has distributed 600 litres of sanitisation fluid in a 3-week period, in addition to masks through its partnership with the diaspora and business communities.
Government has consistently underscored the need for collaboration and partnership to successfully fight the Covid-19 pandemic. Government therefore extends sincere gratitude to all private sector and diaspora partners who have made valuable contributions to the public transport sector at this crucial time. These include George F Huggins & Co. (G’da) Ltd., Clarke’s Court Rum and Grenadians in Canada and New York, through the Desk of Diaspora Affairs.
The Ministry is engaging the Grenada Ports Authority to afford bus operators the benefit of a waiver of bus terminal fees. This benefit amounts to approximately $20,000 weekly, resulting in a corresponding loss of revenue for the Grenada Ports Authority which is still required to maintain the terminal and meet the salary of staff.
It is estimated that since the start of the pandemic, the Grenada Ports Authority, through its partnership with the Ministry of Transport, has granted a waiver of terminal fees amounting to nearly $1 million, even while it faces its own revenue challenges.
Bus operators are also benefitting from bonus fuel provided by Sol EC Ltd, through an initiative that began on 16 September, and ends on 1 October. All Sol service stations will provide 10% additional fuel, which means that for every $50 worth of fuel purchased, bus operators will receive an additional $5 in free fuel for the 2-week period.
The Ministry of Transport is also engaged in discussion with RUBiS with regard to support for the sector.
Additionally, Government has started re-engaging auto parts dealers to determine their willingness to provide discounts on auto parts to bus operators. Positive responses have already been provided by three businesses.
Minister for Transport Senator the Honourable Norland Cox, has commended the ministry’s partners for their collaboration in helping to facilitate the continued and safe operation of the public transportation sector.
He said, “Covid-19 has not only affected Government’s revenue stream but also that of businesses and households. Businesses, like Government, are now required to do more with less to fight the pandemic and protect lives and livelihoods. This requires a daily balancing act and despite this challenge, they continue to provide valuable support and to work in partnership with Government. Government, therefore, recognises the sterling contribution of donors and industry stakeholders in keeping the public transport sector running at this crucial time. We encourage the travelling public to adhere to the health and safety guidelines of the Ministry of Health when commuting.”