The population of Nassau, the capital of The Bahamas, – 255,000 – is estimated to have 320,000 by 2030 under 1.5% population growth projection. There is a 70% population living in the capital of The Bahamas. As people increasingly flock to the city, its road network is coming under increased pressure, especially when it comes to public transportation.
There are many complaints about Jitney Bus, from travel blogs, here are the main issues below.
It is indeed a terrifying experience for thousands of Bahamians who catch the bus daily, with most of them having no other option to get to and from work.
Problems of handling cash
Pay as you leave the jitney, exact change only, $1.25 for adults and $.75 cents for children. Some drivers will provide change but should ask before stepping in.
Some bus drivers also employ young men who collect the bus fare. These young men in a lot of instances hold the money in their hands in the plain view of all passengers. This is a security risk and increases the chances of robbery.
The bus drivers released the clutch immediately when the passenger was standing up and still finding seated. The speed in and out of traffic all in an effort to reach the next customer.
Jitney routes are organized by the Transport department, but the vehicles are privately owned and drivers are paid directly from the money they collect from the passengers, which is an incentive to make special arrangements for extra money.
Bus stops are not enough
24 May 2019 The Tribune
“There are 24 bus stops that are supposed to be on East Street but there are only four bus stops” says Frederick Farrington, president of the Bahamas Unified Bus Drivers Union.
Automatic Fare Collection System as a crowdfunding tool
The Automatic fare collection (AFC) system can bring good cash flow to the public transportation system as there are a deposit and unused value on each passenger card. Every million passengers or tourists will contribute over US$ 1 million in cash flows based on our study.
Besides stopping fake money and driver’s fraud, the AFC system will bring in recurrent income from transaction fees. Every million passengers will bring US$ 5 million in income per year if the transaction fee is 5% based on our study.
Sustainable growth in public transportation development can be easily achieved.
Although Gambia has a GDP per capita of US$ 32,977 in 2018, there is a social need for public transportation improvement especially in Nassau with a 255,000 population.
With all these privately owned Jitney Bus, it is hard to finance an expensive AFC system.
However, with a low-cost AFC, it must generate sufficient revenues for its financial sustainability, to continually service the ever-expanding social and economic demand.
Safety and security needs could be easily achieved.
The writer is a frequency traveler. For more detail, please visit autofare.net.