By SEAN DOUGLAS
TRANSPORT Minister, Devant Maharaj, said a bus simulator will soon arrive in TT to offer further training to bus drivers of the Public Service Transport Corporation (PTSC). The simulator, which has been in the works for PTSC for some time, comes on the heels of Tuesday’s mishap involving an articulated bus.
The bus had split at its accordion-styled joint, on the Uriah Butler Highway near the Munroe Road Flyover.
He was answering queries from reporters after meeting the chairmen of State boards that report to his Ministry at his office in “Tower D” of the Waterfront Complex.
Maharaj said PTSC drivers could benefit from a defensive-driving course for the articulated buses.
“The drivers are trained, and in fact to augment that training, PTSC will be bringing to Trinidad, in the VMCOTT facility, a sister board, a bus simulator, so that training could be ongoing for all PTSC drivers,” he said.
Maharaj exonerated both the bus and its driver, one Mrs Warner, of any wrongdoing, and said that on the contrary she has reacted well to a motorist’s negligent driving. Maharaj was glad the driver’s action prevented any fatalities
“It was not the fault of the bus or the driver,” he explained. “The latest instance was the result of a reckless driver that forced the bus to engage in a manoeuvre that it was not designed to do. As a result, the bus broke into two.”
Asked if the public would now be afraid to travel on PTSC buses, Maharaj invited reporters to visit City Gate to see the hundreds of commuters still using the bus service.
“People are confident, given the track-record of the PTSC, that the buses are one of the safest modes of transport,” he said. “Could you remember any accident involving a bus, because they are so few and far between?”
He said people still use cars, despite the fact that car accidents occur daily.
In a radio interview Brian Juanette, general manager operations said a thorough investigation was being done he awaits the findings. He said if necessary, the support of the foreign manufacturer would be enlisted in doing an assessment.
Juanette said the accident had not compromised PTSC’s operations.
Harry Ragoonanan managing director of Louba Engineering, the local agent for the buses, said the Volvo buses had a “safety factor” and were safe for travel.
He said, with any articulated vehicle the back unit would oversteer.
“In swinging around the connection broke off, which might be a blessing in disguise,” he said.
He said the anti-roll capacity prevented the bus from rolling, and the back wheels had a locking mechanism.
“So the bus does not run down the road and create a catastrophe,” he said.
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