Service crew

Scott rejects objections to ferry service cuts – The Royal Gazette

Updated: April 18, 2022 08:07

The pink route (File photo)

Angry complaints from users of the Pink Route ferry service that the cuts have left them feeling abandoned and stranded have been dismissed by the transport minister.

Lawrence Scott said he did not accept the views of a petition signed by more than 800 people expressing concern over the situation, as warnings grew that the downgrade would force more cars onto the roads and leave other people without transportation options.

The minister said The Royal Gazette“I don’t agree with this perspective.

“I don’t think they would really have to use cars.

“The ferry is just one of many options to get us to where we need to go around the island.

“We are perfectly adequate… regarding the services we have allocated.”

Mr Scott said the pink route had a low volume of use.

He said: “The Orange Route, which focuses on connecting Dockyard with the community of St George, will transport 75,000 people over seven months.

“That’s about 350 people a day – compared to the Route Rose which will only carry just over 100 a day all year round.”

The minister claimed the cuts to the Pink ferry would benefit people who needed medical attention in Boston.

He said: “I think we need to look at it holistically.

“Because the operational and financial savings realized will then be reallocated to the development of air services, which will then ensure that we have consistent and reliable service to Boston for people who need medical services or treatment abroad between November and March.”

Asked if the government would rethink the cuts in light of the protests, Mr Scott insisted the government had already taken action on the matter.

He said: “We have already reviewed the policy. The initial policy was to suspend the service altogether.

“Following a directive from the Cabinet Office to review the policy, we then came up with the solution we have now which is to reduce the frequency and focus on the core demographic of this area commuting to and from school. , and people getting to and from work.

“And that’s why we reduced it from seven days a week to five days a week from Monday to Friday.

“And the heart of the operation is built around the peak hour schedule.”

A statement from the organizers of a petition that attracted more than 800 signatures insisted the latest cuts were part of a long-term reduction in service.

He said: ‘The Paget/Warwick ‘Pink’ ferry service has been significantly reduced over the last ten years.

“There are, and always have been, many ferry users who are unable to operate their own transportation due to age, physical abilities or financial resources.

“In addition, many workers in Hamilton rely on the ferry service during off-hours.

“It is expected that weekend service will be phased out entirely and weekday service reduced to commuter journeys without any mid-day or evening service.

“The planned further reductions to the ‘Pink’ Paget/Warwick ferry service to be announced by the Minister for Transport will make the ‘public’ ferry service unsustainable for many Bermuda residents.”