Arrive Alive is reissuing its call for a Transportation Plan which it says will extensively deal with low emissions, clean energy, public transportation organisation and management, and non-motorized forms of transport to encourage safe walking and cycling.
Arrive Alive Director and Traffic Engineer Dr. Rae Furlonge said, “We need a proper study to determine appropriate policies, our equity needs, our current and future infrastructure needs, technology and vehicles. The Government needs to guarantee safe, clean, efficient transport for all our people. If not, we are putting our population, especially our women and children at risk.”
Dr. Furlonge said the last transportation study was done in 1967, excluding the failed Comprehensive National Transportation Study (CNTS) in 2005 to introduce the Rapid Rail, and for the last 25 years or so this country has been a literal dumping ground for low end vehicles. He said, “We need to learn to apply policies that reduce vehicle-kilometre usage, so the focus should be on efficient transportation. Not only that, the issue of “PH” taxis continues to rear its ugly head, exposing the absence by Government of any administration of transportation for those who have no choice but to depend on others for their travel.”
He said the development of the privately-owned and operated transit industry should have its primary mechanism through performance incentives and monitoring. The privately-owned operator should receive an agreed the fare revenue and a revenue-km payment reimbursement to balance the operating cost. This would encourage scheduling by the operator. Dr. Furlonge stated, “There is need for the consideration of integrated ticketing and fares, so that a fare should not have to be paid for each trip. This also introduces the need for cashless and technologically-driven payment methods.”
Another initiative he said that should be implemented is the provision of high-quality waiting environments in terms of cleanliness and safety, lighting, furniture, shelters, toilets, wi-fi, phones, trash receptacles and commercial and service opportunities, “We need to provide improved locations of stops especially considering fear of sexual harassment and other personal insecurity threats that deter women from walking. We also have to take into consideration the accessibility of the aged and disabled.”
Director and President of the Road Safety Non-Governmental Organisation Sharon Inglefield said she is particularly alarmed at how easy it is for members of the public to access license number plates and asked for the Government to limit access, “We recently heard how the kidnappers of Andrea Bharatt were able to easily change their number plates, and we at Arrive Alive feel this should not have happened in the first place. We need stricter measures and stronger law enforcement to prevent such occurrences.”
She said one of the reasons a comprehensive Transportation Plan is needed is to deal with PH taxi drivers who have come under intense scrutiny over the last couple of years, “We believe this plan will find a way for everyone to co-exist – hired taxi drivers, privately owned taxis, public transportation methods and non-motorized forms of transport, but we need all our stakeholders to come together and lay the groundwork.”
– Press Release