Hopefully I'll be able to weigh things up in depth - there are so many similarities between the two places and numerous parallels worth exploring.
I was reading this post on IMHO which dealt with the harsh realities of not only shopping but giving things away. Bermudians do indeed like to throw away things and get the newest, latest and greatest. It's kind of silly but it's the prevailing mindset which I'm surely not going to overcome.
In what is not exactly an ironic moment, I'll be travelling down there at the same time as the Digicel (no I'm not linking to them) Cup football tournament which features Bermuda and Barbados who both have hopes of making the final round of the competition. Personally I think both squads tend to underperform in regular competition but heck. I'll predict the Bajans, 2-0.
Not too long ago, our Premier floated the idea of making public transportation free for consumers. What could be wrong with that? Encouraging people to leave their cars and bikes at home would clear up much of the traffic issues that we deal with in Bermuda.
But as one astute reader pointed out, the cost isn't as much a factor as convenience. Somebody living in Spanish Point, St. David's or certain parts of Warwick will never forego their cars because their options are currently quite limited. Bus service to those regions ends by 7 p.m. On top of that, the frequency of the buses is not great.
On top of that, buses are still subject to the same rush hour conditions as every other vehicle on the road. Most would rather be stuck in gridlock in the comfort of their own car rather than smushed up on a crowded bus with the assortment of noise (and smell) that makes a journey unpleasant.
So even with free public transportation, the majority of people will continue to travel by car into our only city and major business centre, bringing along their various traffic-related issues.
What I think needs to be done to truly alleviate the enormous traffic flow:
- Improve the bus and ferry schedules. This includes extended hours of operation and frequency of vehicles.
- If we're to drop prices (I think a nominal fee, say $1, would be appropriate) for bus and ferry, throw in increased fees for parking of private cars. Consider raising the license fees for private vehicles to help pay for the service of busses and ferries.
- Develop new routes, or subsidize minibus services such as those which exist in Prospect to compliment regular government-funded public transportation.
- Along with the extended hours, improve the safety aspect by ensuring lighted areas at all bus stops. Maybe even erect security cameras there as well.
Bermudians simply will not leave their car at home in favour of public transportation, unless they can get a comparable experience in terms of comfort, flexibility and safety. Price is not the issue.
IMHO.bm discussed this at length recently, and Limey also weighs in on an interesting development on the once-a-day ferry service out of St. George's which honestly doesn't make any sense at all.
It was strange, though, to watch the report on the ZBM news. The news anchor said the website to learn more would be displayed on the bottom of the screen. Great, except for the fact that the world's worst watermark logo obscured the latter portions of the web address. Way to go, Bermuda Broadcasting. Next thing you know they will stop putting these stories on their website... wait a second...
Police blitz! Police blitz! Dozens of officers gathered outside the Aquarium this morning (which must be a welcome sight for visitors), all to pull in vehicles for whatever reason they like, hoping to catch someone without a license or something, I presume, as well as the famous radar gunners relaying messages ahead by walkie talkie or whatever high-tech gizmos they use these days, heh. Fortunately I suppose, I got waved through, even though my own bike didn't have its updated licence sticker on it. Good job, police.