Our ‘My Cayman 2.0’ series challenges readers to spell out their vision for the island’s future, focussing on the one big idea that can bring meaningful change to the country. Today Claire Pettinai, an artist, mother and business consultant, makes the case for a new model for public transport.
I believe the Cayman Islands need a brand new transport system, bringing together sustainable forms of transport connected by the simplicity and innovation of an app.
Cayman’s population is rapidly growing. Gridlock has become a national issue. A sustainable transport solution is urgently needed.
The problem is worsening for residents who commute from the areas of Prospect, and beyond, into the eastern districts.
A ferry is a time-efficient and safe way to travel, and has been successfully adopted as a transport solution for many coastal cities.
In Grand Cayman, the North Sound is the body of water located at the heart of the island, with several ferry access points around the island. The existing ferry service, with Cayman Ferries, currently connects Camana Bay and the remote beaches of Kaibo at Rum Point. Their new service, which launches in November 2020, intends to connect more destinations.
Imagine a commuter ferry at Newlands Barcadere, that serves commuters from Newlands, Prospect, Bodden Town, and beyond, offering fast access to the Seven Mile Beach corridor.
A rush-hour commute from Beach Bay to Camana Bay could become a 15-minute car ride to the Newlands dock, followed by a 15-minute ride to Camana Bay. For a journey that currently takes two hours during peak times, that’s a travel time reduction of 75%.
Key features of the ferry would include a guaranteed seat on board, with everything controlled through an app.
There would never be more people on board than the number of available seats in the app. So you would always have plenty of opportunity to relax or catch up on work.
The app would be simple and easy-to-use. Just pay for your digital ticket in the Cayman Ferries app, turn up at the dock, and you’re ready to sail.
The journey would be safe and reliable. The secure and sturdy 35-foot catamaran is designed to glide over large waves, ensuring a smooth ride, where you’ll arrive calm and collected.
And on time. Skip the traffic, and reach your destination much faster than you would by car.
The app will then have further forms of transport connected. Upon arrival at any dock, a passenger can quickly pull up and reserve a seat on an electric public bus, hire an e-bike or e-scooter, or hail an Uber-style Cayman taxi. A 100% electric fleet will ensure we protect our environment from emission pollution.
After the successful rollout across Grand Cayman, the project can then move into the Sister Islands, and a larger ferry can connect our three islands.
My vision is that our 60K+ population of Cayman will join together on the ride towards a sustainable future. A transport app, that is committed to changing the way the island moves, is simple-to-use technology that can connect us all. And through this connectivity, we can all be committed to the way the island moves forward.
If we start now, with the ferry as our centralised transport hub, our commitment will ensure that by 2030, the Cayman Islands will have the most sustainable way to travel in the Caribbean. #Jointheride
Claire Pettinai, is a consultant offering business development and transformation, across a variety of industry platforms. She is also a mother, wife, artist and writes a blog about Caribbean island life at www.claireatthebeach.com
My Cayman 2.0: Your vision for Cayman’s future
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