Yellow bus for students
By Sasha Harrinanan Thursday, August 29 2013
Members of the Private School Transportation Association of Trinidad and Tobago (PSTATT) are in the midst of ensuring they are in compliance with new regulations from the Transport Ministry.
Namely re-painting their vehicles, typically 12-seater vans, a “bright” yellow, which is the internationally recognised colour of school buses, obtaining an ‘H’ licence plate, getting a taxi badge, certificates in defensive driving, and basic first-aid, and a certificate of good character from the Police Service.
Each driver is responsible for bearing the costs of meeting the new regulations, which PSTATT President, George LaVende, estimated would include $10,000 for a new paint job.
With the new school term just four days away, what does this mean for parents?
According to Transport Minister, Chandresh Sharma, “by painting these buses yellow, everyone will know this is the vehicle designated to take my child to school. The new law, passed last year, was designed to implement and enforce international safety standards, to better protect our children on the nation’s roads.”
Although the PSTATT has until October 31, 2013, to comply with the above regulations, the association is neither contracted by, nor under the supervision of, any ministry.
LaVende, yesterday said parents interested in hiring a member of the association can do so by calling its Arima office at (741-3555).
“Sometimes parents know a driver and he/she will give them my number, or the number for the vice-president, Johnson Akong. We then inform the parents of the drivers who live in their area, and it is up to the parents to decide which driver best suits their needs. Fees vary depending on each child’s transportation needs,” LaVende explained.
The PSTATT currently has no Government contracts to transport students, but LaVende told Newsday he hopes to change that once his members are in compliance with the Transport Ministry’s new regulations.
“We would like to meet with Minister Sharma to discuss possibly working with the PTSC to transport children to school, and on school-related outings.”