No new ferries, but we’re getting new buses??

Vitran Buses
Image credit: St. John Tradewinds News

Sometimes I am simply at a loss for words… This is one of those times.

As you all know, our favorite Public Works Commissioner, Mr. Darryl Smalls, promised back on January 29 that our new $8 million ferries would begin transporting passengers within 30 days. That was 127 days ago, but who’s counting. Oh wait, I totally am.

So I have to admit, I was stunned when I read yesterday on the Tradewind‘s Facebook page that our beloved Darryl Smalls was in the States inspecting new buses. New buses?? (Actually I wasn’t stunned. I was simply disgusted.) Here’s what the Tradewinds posted:

Newly constructed heavy duty VITRAN buses were subject to final inspection last week before shipment to the territory. The buses should arrive in the Virgin Islands within the next 30-45 days.

Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls spent several days on the mainland last week conducting final inspections of ten new heavy duty VITRAN buses that are headed to the territory in the next month and a half. The buses, which totaled $4.7 million, were paid for by Federal Highway Administration funds. St. Thomas and St. Croix will each see four new buses added to the VI transit system while two buses will run the route on St. John.

This week, Smalls is at another bus facility conducting similar inspections of twelve medium duty buses that will soon be added to the VI bus routes in both island districts. The smaller buses, which totaled $2 million, were Federal Transit Administration funding.

Here’s an idea – let’s finish one project before moving on the next. New ferries? Centerline Road? Just a thought…

So ok, maybe the territory does need new buses. But how are these new, “heavy duty” buses going to traverse our narrow and windy island roads? And more importantly, how are they going to maneuver alongside the partially closed, partially crumbling section of Centerline Road out near Coral Bay? You know the one the “fedral” one that needed “emergency” repairs like four years ago?? The one where work is barely happening…

I say we all place bets on when these new buses will begin running. My guess is January 2015. Leave your guess on the comments section or over on our Facebook page.

Want to know the history of the botched Centerline Road project? Click here to see its full history on LifeonOurRock.com. Click here if you’d like to know all about the new ferry debacle.