CHAIRMAN of the Public Transportation Services Corporation (PTSC) Edwin Gooding promised Tobagonians improved and efficient services during the signing of a MoU between the PTSC and the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) on Tuesday.
This MoU formalises collaboration between the two institutions where the THA will provide the expertise of mechanical engineers and technical officers from the Division of Infrastructure, Quarries and the Environment.
In return, the PTSC is expected to assist the division with the upgrade and use of a database system fleet management. The THA will provide a number of engineers to assist with PTSC operations.
The signing was done at the division's office in Shaw Park where THA Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles and Secretary for the Infrastructure Division were present to sign.
After the signing, Charles told Newsday, “the MoU is a result of work we started last year. It comes from the fact that the quality of our work to the Tobago public has been affected. It has not been what we wanted because of our inability to provide the reliability of the buses.”
“The mechanical engineer from the THA will coming into the PTSC to provide management, structure, to provide some sort of discipline in terms of preventative maintenance and repairs. In that way we expect the reliability of the fleet to improve and of course the service to the Tobago public to also improve.”
When this is done PTSC will provide knowledge of the their fleet management system “Maximo” so that the THA can now manage their fleet of vehicles.
He said in the past PTSC Tobago was poorly managed and proper maintenance of the buses were neglected. It is hoped, with the THA onboard these issues will now be a thing of the past.
“In terms of structuring the support necessary, we have had some challenges trying to get Tobagonians to manage the operations here. This has not been very successful. We are looking for somebody to manage the overall operation.”
He said he wants to have a direct oversight of Tobago engineers, “we want to an engineering capacity at the highest level to manage that. We want to provide the kind of leadership and direction we want from an engineering standpoint.
"This is where the agreement with the PTSC and the THA comes in. They have that skill and experience to give us that oversight of our engineering team to ensure an improved service.”
He said there are many qualified engineers in Tobago and he hopes PTSC Tobago will be able to employ a Tobago engineer to continue to improve and maintain the standard and quality of public transportation on the island.
Last year Tobago received a new fleet of 15 buses; including five CNG buses. Gooding told Newsday since then, the traveling public in Tobago have regained their confidence in public transportation, after one man lost his life in 2015 when a PTSC bus malfunctioned and crashed over a precipice.