The population of Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados, – 110,000 – is nearly 30% of the population in the Country. The economy of Barbados has been claimed to transformed from a low-income economy dependent upon sugar production into an upper-middle-income economy based on tourism and the offshore sector.  However, it is also one of the world’s most indebted countries.

To change the economic state and improve the brand of the country, sustainable public transportation infrastructure is imperative for connectivity and efficiency.  In Barbados public transportation is mainly provided by the buses of the Barbados Transport Board, mini-buses are known as ZR Vans. Transport board buses are owned by the Government of Barbados while mini-buses and ZRs are privately owned.

Bus Payment

Public government buses run on an exact fare system and are unable to give change. Payment is made for each one-way journey on a single bus; no transfers are given.

Minibus fares tend to be the same as the government bus fares, but are able to give change.

Car removed from road to less traffic congestion

30 Aug 2019

“Barbados in spite of its small size has a large volume of vehicles, in excess of 110 000 which traverses our road network of 109 000 kilometers, all of this takes place within a space of 430 square kilometers and this dense network lends itself to traffic congestion,” Mark Cummins, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Maintenance said.

Whenever someone hops on a bus, they’re not just choosing a safe, efficient transportation option. They’re also doing drivers a huge favor, as every car removed from the road means less traffic congestion for everyone.

Endless Government’s Loan

30 May 2019 Bloomberg

Talks with foreign creditors have dragged on when Prime Minister Mia Mottley said she would restructure the island’s “unsustainably high” debt burden.

The government estimated debt had ballooned to about 175% of GDP, meaning it owed around $9 billion. 

Business Opportunity

Although Barbados has a GDP per capita of US$ 17,758 in 2018, there is a demand for sustainable economic growth and social connectivity.  To improve the growth of the economy, there is a social need for public transportation improvement especially in Bridgetown with 110,000 population.

Instead of a loan, why not apply an automatic fare collection (AFC) which can bring a good cash flow from other countries’ experiences.  From the lesson from different countries, the improper financial management of public transportation can be improved by introducing AFC system.

Apply the AFC system to minivan or bus like crowdfunding 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.

The writer is a frequency traveler.  For more detail, please visit


Post Author: GCSharing

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