COVID-19: Bus Drivers Discuss Their Concerns With Transport Minister

Press Release:- The Ministry of Infrastructure, Ports, Transport, Physical Development and
Urban Renewal has affirmed its support for the Public Transportation Sector, amidst the financial and economic hardships brought on by COVID-19.

To this end Senior Minister with Responsibility for Transport, Hon. Stephenson King
embarked on a series of meetings with stakeholders within the sector, since assuming responsibility for Transport.

On Friday September 17th, 2021 the Executive Members of the National Council
on Public Transport (NCOPT) met with the Minister and Senior Ministry Officials.

Representing the NCOPT at the meeting were President Godfrey Ferdinand, 1st Vice President, Mr. Kentry Frederick, and Trustee Mr. Spencer McPhee.

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The parties engaged in frank, open and cordial discussion concerning the current
state of the public transportation sector, including, among other things, income support to the minibus sector to buffer the negative financial impact as a result of reduced passenger numbers and rotation schedules.

The Minister has given his commitment to supporting the sector in obtaining the
approval of the Cabinet of Ministers in providing the necessary COVID-19 financial support, beginning with a monetary settlement in accordance with an April 12th 2021, Cabinet Conclusion.

Another meeting convened Tuesday September 21st, with the full executive of the NCOPT in which a presentation was received from the Department of Health who provided a status of the Covid-19 situation in St. Lucia as well as the recent spike in COVID-19 infections among minibus operators.

The Government of Saint Lucia recognizes the critical contribution the transportation sector plays to the local economy and has committed to working with the National Council on Public Transport to cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on both minibus operators and the general public.

All parties affirmed their commitment to continuing dialogue on the way forward, and the adoption of best practices in order to safeguard the lives and livelihoods of all Saint Lucians.

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