The Fiji Bus Operators Association (FBOA) believes the Suva City Council is being defensive over the safety of the Suva bus station and is irrational in blaming the design of the terminal on the fact that Fiji is a developing country.
The SCC chief executive officer, Mr Vijay Chand, was quoted in the media as saying the concerns over design of the bus terminal raised by FBOA were insignificant because Fiji is a developing country and only developed countries could have bus stations where buses do not have to reverse to leave the terminal.
However, the FBOA believes that being a developing country could not be legitimately used as an excuse for a bus terminal design that clearly poses a risk to the public.
In trying to clear up this issue, the FBOA is also mindful that now is not the time for finger-pointing over the deaths at the Suva bus station last Tuesday.
It is extremely important that relevant stakeholders come together to discuss ways in which our bus stations can be made safer for the Fijian public.
FBOA believes that bus terminals that require buses to reverse to leave bus stations are a serious concern to the safety of pedestrians and this should be changed.
According to media reports, Mr Chand says that “there are genuine reasons why buses in most bus stands in Fiji need to reverse out of their bays to leave the terminal.” The FBOA would like to request the CEO to please highlight those reasons so that everyone is made aware of them.
The FBOA is also suggesting that rather than a knee-jerk reaction to the unfortunate deaths by making hasty renovations at the Suva bus station, the Suva City Council should call a meeting of all stakeholders to thoroughly examine all the safety issues that need to be addressed at the Suva bus station before embarking on what could turn out to be a costly project.