The Association of Professional Engineers of Trinidad and Tobago (APETT) supports the decision of the Minister of Works and Transport to review the policy with respect to allowing private vehicles to use the Priority Bus Route (PBR) even in time of “emergency”.

The PBR was conceived, designed and built as an exclusive transit facility to provide a high-quality service to transit users and encourage a shift from private cars to higher occupancy vehicles. As a two-lane, two-way road with at-grade traffic signalised intersections, it is not designed, nor should it be used to accommodate hundreds or thousands of private cars.

The association has long called for a cessation of the practice of allowing hundreds of “special” persons and organisations the privilege of unlimited access to the PBR. It has similarly called for an end to the practice of “commandeering” the PBR and opening it to all private vehicles whose drivers wish to avoid a situation of unusual congestion on the Churchill-Roosevelt Highway (CRH) or Eastern Main Road.

It is quite contrary to good transportation engineering to take an action which creates congestion on a route which has vehicles carrying nine to 25 passengers (maxi-taxis) and 62 to 114 passengers (PTSC buses) in favour of vehicles which have a maximum capacity of five people. In fact, a recent survey on the CRH at peak periods found that the average vehicle occupancy was 1.3 persons per vehicle.

What is needed is the development and publicising of plans to deal with emergency situations by:-

(1) Marshalling bus and maxi-taxi resources to increase the capacity of transit services available on the PBR,

(2) Encouraging drivers to leave their cars in place and get to the PBR for movement along the East-West Corridor.

If we need to evacuate Port of Spain in an emergency we need to remember that cars do not die but people can. We need emergency plans to move the largest number of persons in the shortest possible time. Such plans must ensure that the PBR and other transit-intensive routes remain uncongested and are given priority.

RECOMMENDED FOR YOU

Even under normal conditions, the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) examination is a well-known source of stress for 11- and 12-year-olds.

One can therefore imagine what it must be like for the 19,300 children who are back at school preparing for the rescheduled exam on August 20. Not only are they in a significantly altered learning environment, but each new report of an SEA pupil having contracted Covid-19 must bring them new anxiety.

A few years ago, a German car company ran an advertising campaign that centred around two words: Drivers wanted.

The idea, of course, was that this auto maker was doing the hard work, creating these amazing vehicles. All you had to do was drive. It went on to be one of their most successful advertising campaigns, and was able to relaunch the brand after many years of poor sales.

THE Minister of Social Development and Family Services was at the absolute top of her game last Wednesday during the national update to the country, as we began to witness what is now a significant uptick in Covid-19-positive cases.

Elections in Trinidad and Tobago are a reflection of the society; believe it or not, everything just goes helter-­skelter. The utterances that come out of most candidates’ mouths are mind-­boggling to some citizens.

I foolishly thought the voice and will of the people decided an election. What an underhanded attempt by the PNM to steal the election.

Firstly, Colm Imbert’s issue ought not to be with Barry Padarath or the UNC. The Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC)—the constituted election body—has approved Padarath’s candidacy, which means as far as it is concerned, he has met all the required stipulations.

Stupidity kills. That’s not an exaggeration. Stupidity, coupled with ignorance, is an even deadlier combination. Just Google “Darwin Awards”.

Weeks ago, I predicted a rise in Covid-19 cases in T&T. It wasn’t difficult to foresee the current spate of infection growth.