STATEMENT BY DEPUTY PREMIER AND
MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS AND WORKS HONOURABLE KYE M. RYMER
AT THE THIRD SITTING OF THE FIFTH SESSION
OF THE FOURTH HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
ONTHE FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF THE CITY OF ROAD TOWN PARK AND RIDE
Friday 10th February 2023
Madam Speaker, this week – on 7 February, to be more specific - we recognised the first anniversary of the City of Road Town Park and Ride Shuttle Service, and I am pleased to report to this Honourable House that this service which provides essential transportation around the City, has been a resounding success.
For the past 12 months, in excess of 60,000 passengers have taken advantage of this convenient, easy, hop-on-and-off, complimentary service. We have seen the electric-powered shuttles traversing the City to full capacity at times. The service has been well received by the public as it affords city patrons the opportunity to leave their vehicles parked while moving around the City to conduct business or run errands during the work day.
I continue to encourage everyone to park their vehicles and embrace this advantageous, complimentary transportation service. Our goal continues to include reducing vehicle congestion and promoting more effortless movement within the City while reducing the Territory's carbon footprint.
The service has maintained the use of six (6) electric transit shuttles. Each shuttle has a 15-passenger capacity and the maximum speed capacity is 25 miles per hour with 50 driving miles once fully charged.
The route continues to encompass significant businesses within the city centre. Passengers can board the shuttles from designated stops between the Red Cross Building and the Hospital area every 15 minutes, starting at 7:00 am and ending at 6:00 pm from Monday to Friday. Due to the low maintenance costs of these electric shuttles, we have been able to maintain this initiative as a complimentary service.
Road Town has been challenged with traffic and parking woes, which continue to be an increasing problem due to the Territory's increasing population and physical development. While we welcome growth and development, we must continue to develop innovative ways to reduce frustrations and promote the ease of traversing the City. As a Government, and through my Ministry, we have implemented a number of measures to ease the problem as much as we can and we continue to look for opportunities for further improvement.
Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Communications and Works is mandated to develop and maintain the Territory's infrastructure. We remain dedicated to ensuring that the infrastructure conforms to international standards to support enhanced community life.
As such, the implementation of the City of Road Town Park and Ride aimed to achieve the following objectives:
i. Alleviate parking lot congestion;
ii. Reduce traffic congestion;
iii. Reduce the use of fossil fuels and the effects of harmful emissions into the environment, and thereby reduce the carbon footprint of the Territory;
iv. Reduce parking on roadways which causes traffic obstructions;
v. Aid in pedestrianising the City; and
vi. Improve mobility within the City limits.
Research has proven that green public transportation contributes to a healthier environment by improving air quality, reducing vehicular movement, and reducing oil consumption. Therefore, the Ministry is strategically working toward a greener, safer, and pedestrian-friendly City of Road Town. This Park and Ride initiative has taken us closer to accomplishing these goals.
Madam Speaker, I take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the Department of Facilities Management for their efficient management of the shuttle service and to the Wickham's Cay Development Authority for their continued support. I also recognise the dedication of the friendly drivers who are the linchpins of keeping this reliable service in operation.
It would be remiss of me not to recognise the passengers that use this service daily. To them, I express my sincere appreciation for their acceptance and commitment to parking and riding the shuttle.
The City of Road Town Park and Ride Shuttle Service is just one component of a comprehensive initiative to improve the Capital. Persons would be aware of the traffic turnaround initiative which was implemented to ease the congestion of traffic in Road Town. My Ministry and the Public Works Department are currently exploring the possibility of turning the traffic from the Road Town Methodist Church’s Burial Ground on Main Street to Flemming Street to a two-way thoroughfare. We have been monitoring the traffic flow patterns and are working on ways to make the flow of traffic more efficient. In addition, persons (motorists and pedestrians) would have noticed the three Solar Powered Crosswalk Signals installed along Waterfront Drive. In short order, two additional signals will be placed on DeCastro Street.
While we have done quite a bit of work and completed many significant projects in the Territory, I reassure the people of the Virgin Islands that my Ministry will continue to be committed to investing in improving our infrastructure and providing opportunities for a thriving economy and enhanced quality of life for all here in these beautiful Virgin Islands.
Madam Speaker, my team at the Ministry and I continue to stand committed to our vision to provide a high standard of internationally accepted public infrastructure and utilities. We remain committed to the growth and development of the Territory through high-quality infrastructures and transport systems to support residential and business communities. This vision is progressively realised with the execution of many development and maintenance projects and initiatives to enhance our beautiful Virgin Islands' quality of life and living.
Madam Speaker, I take this opportunity to invite Members of this Honourable House and the entire public to the Dedication and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony of the Newly Rennovated Road Town Market Square this Monday, 13 February, at 10:00am. I look forward to seeing everyone there. The reconstruction of the Market Square was one of our commitments when we took office and I am pleased that we have been able to deliver on this promise to the people.
Madam Speaker, I thank you for the time to share the anniversary of the City of Road Town Park and Ride Shuttle Service and the exciting developments in our Capital City.
Madam Speaker I thank you.