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Bus Shelters to Be Upgraded

Bus Shelters

THE Government of Saint Lucia plans to upgrade bus shelters island wide to provide relief from weather patterns and other services convenient to commuters.

Speaking to reporters recently, Infrastructure Minister Stephenson King outlined some of the measures that the ministry is keen on implementing, one such measure making allocations for vendors to serve commuters at bus shelters.

King said, he was not too pleased with the designs of bus shelters and bus stops on the island since they are not designed to afford commuters a more conducive environment.

“We have to revisit those designs…so we have to do some redesigning,” he said, adding that there needs to be a differentiation between bus shelters and bus stops since some of these locations merely provide a little shelter from the heat.

The minister reported that he has consulted with the technicians in the Ministry of Planning to undertake “a new design of bus shelters that will be a shelter and a hub of activity.”

King proposed that the bus shelter should be able to provide services to commuters, for instance, “someone rushing to work could get a cup of coffee or tea heading to work. That in itself will create activity at the bus shelter.”

He referred to someone heading to work or heading home from work at night “can stop at the bus shelter and feel safe because it is likely to have activity.”

King spoke of creating opportunities at bus shelters for small or micro-entrepreneurs to offer services there.

He disclosed that the Julian Hunte Highway is “under serious consideration” for repairs and the department has liaised with the Kuwait government.

“We are nearing …the completion of the review of the feasibilities that were previously done,” said King.

The minister explained that the road was designed as far back as 2015, and was aborted in 2016, and “so, they are also reviewing the component, which was attempted at Rodney Bay to ensure that the road is done (constructed) to international standards.”

King says the department is also looking into the construction of a four-lane highway, and additionally, “are looking at the improvement of some …relief secondary roads.”

He said these roads are “very important” optional routes and the department is not looking at merely “going there to reinstate what is already there by repairing the carriage-way but looking to see how best we can expand on the roadway… proper drainage and make it safe, and more attractive so persons who are scared of traveling on narrow roads will now be able to use it.”

The minister stated this was all part of the Infrastructure 2030 national initiative that is to be launched.

Added King: “When you look at traffic in Saint Lucia, today, we now need to think beyond what we see on the Castries – Gros Islet Highway.

“The Castries – Gros Islet Highway will not be able to manage the traffic that we have unless we decentralize our services from the north and put it in different areas and localize services throughout the country.”

In the thrust to alleviate the traffic congestion on the island’s main highway, he added, “What we need to do is to find alternate routes from the Castries – Gros Islet Highway to get to the city and bypass the city.

“We have several designs that we are looking into and hopefully at some stage, we will be able to launch, he said.”

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