Published On: Wed, Jan 1st, 2014

Government develops mobility plan

BalbordaWILLEMSTAD - The government is drafting a mobility plan for Curacao. Minister Earl Balborda (Traffic, Transport and Regional Planning, PNP) announced this during the public meeting of the 2014 national budget at the end of 2013. This plan should ensure that everyone can use the public transportation in a safe and sustainable manner.

Transportation on Curaçao does not need to be a problem, according to Minister Balborda during the same meeting.

“The island has currently 69.035 vehicles. We have Autobusbedrijf Curaçao (ABC) (Public Transportation Company) that has been operating with fixed routes and schedules for over seventy years now. And then we have 300 small buses which are also active. So there is plenty of transport, but the problem is that this sector is difficult to regulate. Because despite the fact that we have plenty of transport options, a person who lives in Bándabou (Western side) who has to go somewhere else in that area during the week after the peak hours, must very often go all the way to Otrobanda (downtown) and then go to his or her destination,” Balborda explained.

The minister brought this issue forward in answering questions from the PNP party leader and Member of Parliament, Humphrey Davelaar. Davelaar had questions about how the local bus company is doing now that it will celebrate its seventieth year. According to Balborda the company is struggling with falling revenues and a subsidy which is not sufficient.

He further stated that ABC is now almost in a vicious circle. “Due to lack of money and resources, the company has to use its aging buses. These are more expensive and cost more on maintenance, which means less income for the company.”

Balborda indicated that the government will deal with ABC so that the company can become attractive to potential passengers. The minister also wants to examine whether it is possible for ABC to play a leading role in developing the mobility plan.

This plan should lead to public transport for people to have more options. Balborda strives to perfect the public transportation system in Curacao not only for people with a low income, but even for people with higher income.

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