Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan said additional flights and a free shuttle service via the Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC) are among the measures to assist passengers following the temporary closure of the seabridge.
He was responding to an urgent question on Tuesday in Senate from Opposition Senator Wade Mark who had asked with the suspension of the passenger ferry service between Trinidad and Tobago what measures were being taken by the Works and Transport Ministry. Sinanan responded that in the interest of public safety the Port Authority of Trinidad and Tobago had decided to temporarily suspend operations of the passenger ferry until all works had been completed.
He explained the T&T Express was the lone passenger vessel in service, had been making the crossing in approximately four hours and it was overdo for its regular maintenance programme. He said the T&T Spirit was expected to resume the service on March 13 but there was still some outstanding work to be addressed and it was now expected to resume operations on or before March 22, 2018. He said people seeking to travel from after March 23 and onward can purchase tickets at the terminal, at remote agents or online. Sinanan said for the period March 13 to 22 only tickets for the Cabo Star can be purchased.
"The authority is committed to providing this essential service and will accommodate all passengers on flights from Caribbean Airlines at no extra cost to the passenger."
He said the vehicles of passengers with confirmed tickets will be accommodated with the daily sailing of the Cabo Star and all ticket holders with vehicles will be shuttled via PTSC to the Piarco International Airport and the ANR International Airport at no additional cost. He noted people without vehicles can go directly to Caribbean Airlines where they will be accommodated for the specific date of travel as listed on confirmed ferry ticket.
Mark then asked whether Caribbean Airlines was putting on additional flights to accommodate extra passengers and Sinanan responded there would be extra flights as well as additional airlines brought in.