School bus congestion fears

  • Peace of mind: education minister Diallo Rabain said that government representatives had met with parents to help ease worries over the return to school (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Peace of mind: education minister Diallo Rabain said that government representatives had met with parents to help ease worries over the return to school (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

  • Minister of Transport Neville Tyrrell at a press conference (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Minister of Transport Neville Tyrrell at a press conference (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

  • Commissioner of Education Kalmar Richards at a press conference (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Commissioner of Education Kalmar Richards at a press conference (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)


Students are encouraged to use private transport to avoid congestion in the new school term.

Neville Tyrrell, the Minister of Transport, said extra minibuses and regular buses would be introduced as he announced the new 2020 school bus schedule yesterday.

Mr Tyrrell said that staff would be on hand to ensure students follow physical-distancing guidelines on buses set out by the Ministry of Health.

He told a press conference: “Parents and students are encouraged to consider alternative private transportation options where possible.

“Students travelling on the bus service and ferry service must adhere to the public transportation guidance for physical distancing. In addition, DPT has put Covid-19 measures in place to manage crowding at the central terminal.

“This may result in delays at peak commute times.”

The minister said students should avoid travelling through the central terminal by making full use of the school bus service.

He added: “It should be noted that Covid-19 guidance for the public bus and ferry service remains unchanged with three-feet physical distancing.

“Following these guidelines will help to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all passengers and staff which remains the top priority of the DPT.

“We are going to monitor this in the early stages to see exactly how it is going and whether it needs to be something permanent.”

Mr Tyrrell said that the 25-seat minibuses being used for schoolchildren would carry about half the capacity of a Department of Public Transportation bus, while the public bus service would be reduced to a third of its normal capacity due to physical-distancing requirements.

He said the DPT would monitor the ridership and provide additional capacity where possible.

Education minister Diallo Rabain said that government representatives had met with parents to help ease worries over the return to school on Monday.

He said: “Over the past few months, teams from the Ministry of Health and Department of Education have been working diligently to put new protocols and guidelines in place.

“Traditionally over the summer months, the Department of Education and Ministry of Public Works are busy with summer works within the school buildings for the start of the fall semester.

“This year the facilities team and public works have had the additional task of getting the buildings ready following health guidelines.”

Mr Rabain said work included installing hand-washing stations, partitions and doors, and installing Plexiglas shields for administration assistants, as well as painting and putting up signs throughout buildings.

“The team’s priority at this stage is to ensure classrooms are fully operational for the return of students,” Mr Rabain said.

School staff have been given the option of free Covid-19 testing.

Middle school and senior school students must report to school wearing a cloth or disposable mask with intermittent breaks. Preschoolers and primary pupils will have to wear them only on their way to and from school and certain activities.

School premises will open at 8.30am from preschool to middle-school level while students and parents must participate in entry screening including having their temperatures taken, and answering Covid-19 related questions.

Classrooms have been configured according to three-feet distancing and students will be allocated to bubbles.

Parents and non-essential visitors will not be able to enter the school premises.

Commissioner of Education Kalmar Richards said: “As parents prepare to send their children to our schools, we want to reassure parents that we have planned carefully, intentionally and responsibly for the reopening of schools.

“Success in reopening our schools responsibly and safely depends on the support of the whole community.”

The new school bus schedule is available www.gov.bm/bus

You must be registered or signed-in to post comment or to vote.

Published Sep 10, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Sep 10, 2020 at 8:16 am)

School bus congestion fears

What you
Need to
Know
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon

  • Take Our Poll

    • "With Kathy Lynn Simmons becoming an MP, which Cabinet minister is likely to get the chop?"
    • Lt-Col David Burch (Public Works)
    • 8%
    • Lovitta Foggo (Community Affairs, Sport)
    • 16%
    • Wayne Furbert (Cabinet Office)
    • 38%
    • Jason Hayward (Labour)
    • 2%
    • Renee Ming (National Security)
    • 4%
    • Diallo Rabain (Education)
    • 9%
    • Neville Tyrrell (Transport)
    • 18%
    • Kim Wilson (Health)
    • 5%
    • Total Votes: 1463
    • Poll Archive

    Today's Obituaries

    eMoo Posts