Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 18, 2020 (SKNIS): In a short but significant ceremony on May 18, the Ministry of Transport not only launched its promotional video on bus operations in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, but handed over 200 masks from Sun Island Clothes Ltd. to bus drivers in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“During this period we have seen that the frontline workers are spread across a wide array of sectors including the business sectors and the transport sectors. We have seen the importance of buses in particular and how important they are to move people from point A to point B and in the process help us as a country and a government help us to really gradually resume the activity within the economy,” said Minister of Public Infrastructure, Post Urban Development and Transport, the Honourable Ian Patches Liburd.
The Minister of Transport stated that the bus drivers operate at a high risk and that persons need to recognize the importance of the service that they provide.
“Without you, the transport, the economies around the world, even here in St. Kitts and Nevis, would be paralyzed or shutdown,” he said. “We saw a scare one particular day when people came to town and couldn’t get back from town. We are happy that you came on board with the government efforts in the resumption of the economy.”
The minister said that they not only put their lives at risk in terms of their health during the pandemic, they sacrifice revenue.
“You as bus drivers have to conform to those social distancing and physical distancing protocols, but it’s a sacrifice to you because if you have to conform and comply with these protocols you lose well needed revenue,” he said. “It has derived a drastic reduction in your capacity to earn a decent living and we applaud you for that and we applaud you for collaborating.”
Minister Liburd assured bus drivers that the ministry will collaborate with them even further as they move beyond COVID-19.
The minister commended the CEO of Sun Island Clothes Ltd., Mahesh Nariani for his humanitarian gesture by providing the masks, which are “so important to the process of returning our economy back to where it ought to be so we can all earn a decent living and live a standard we are accustomed to in St. Kitts and Nevis.”
In terms of the video, Minister Liburd said that even though the video is focusing on the bus operations, the ministry is not overlooking the taxi operators.
“As a matter of fact, they are a part of the Traffic Safety and Public Service Drivers Board, both Taxi Associations along with the Bus Association and of course the representatives of the Commissioner of Police,” said Minister Liburd.
The video was a collaborative effort between all the bus drivers associations in St. Kitts and Nevis and the Traffic Department with assistance from Giles Dickenson and Alecia Daniel-Blake.