A total of 450 “enforcement actions” have been taken against public bus, tour and taxi operators in the past year, the director of the Public Transport Unit revealed Wednesday.
Facing questions from legislators about the conduct and driving standards of public transport license holders, Durk Banks acknowledged the unit was dealing with complaints on a daily basis.
Despite the high number of sanctions, he said only two drivers had faced the ultimate punishment of having their license revoked.
Legislators’ concerns centered primarily on mini bus drivers stopping in the middle of the road, driving too fast or recklessly, and failing to complete their routes, particularly in the eastern districts.
The issue was the main talking point during discussion of the Public Transport Unit’s budget in Finance Committee Wednesday.
North Side legislator Ezzard Miller said constituents heading to the district were often left stranded in Bodden Town.
Prospect legislator Austin Harris highlighted a recent case at Owen Roberts International Airport where an arriving doctor was killed in a collision involving a taxi. He said licensed cab and bus drivers routinely broke traffic laws, citing statistics from a freedom of information request showing more than 400 offenses in the past year, and questioned what was being done to improve standards.
Mr. Banks said there was a sliding scale of disciplinary action, with drivers given three citations by his enforcement officers before their behavior was referred to the board for stronger action. From there, the options increase from probation, to a written warning, followed by a suspension and finally revocation of license.
East End MLA Arden McLean questioned why only two drivers had their license revoked, given the prevalence of incidents. He also highlighted issues with bus drivers failing to complete their routes to East End.
“All of us have to see the number of infraction on a daily basis by buses, taxis and tour buses, but we are running straight into motor vehicle catastrophes with these people,” Mr. McLean said.
Mr. Banks acknowledged his unit still gets multiple complaints about drivers failing to complete their routes, but he said people were often unwilling to give evidence that could be used in disciplinary hearings.