Arriving on Island next week (18 March) for a period of two weeks is public transport consultant George Watson. George is set to conduct a review of St Helena’s public transport system, home to work transport for private and public sector workers, school bus system and SHG’s internal transport system.
The review will recommend ways of improving the effectiveness, efficiency, reliability and accessibility of the Island’s passenger transport network – ensuring that capacity is matched to demand and that the recommendations provide a cost effective and affordable solution to both the users of the service and Government. George will also make an assessment of future transport network requirements in line with the Airport operations and associated developments in anticipation of increased visitor numbers from early 2016. He will also consider how a more flexible working hour arrangement can be facilitated through an improved passenger transport network, alleviating the need for private vehicles to be used.
One of the key outcomes from the review will be the identification of the most appropriate, affordable arrangements for meeting the Island’s public transport needs at this time and post Airport construction, highlighting any associated implementation and financing issues.
Currently a limited and subsidised Public Transport Service operates on St Helena, first introduced in 2003. Since that time, a number of adjustments have been made to the original timetabled routes, and more recently, an expanded service to some areas of the Island has been introduced to meet the needs of some SHG shift workers following an in-house review in 2012.
In addition to the limited Public Transport System, there are a number of different private transport providers which convey public and private sector staff to and from their place of work, some catering solely for the transport needs of their own staff. There is also a service provided exclusively to convey schoolchildren to and from the schools, funded by SHG.
George has many years of experience in the bus industry, as an operator, planner, owner and consultant. A photo is attached.
11 March 2014