I only just realized that Bermuda and Barbados implemented free student bus service at the same time, which is interesting. Wonder if this idea was floated during one of the many meetings that our government ministers have had with their counterparts over the past year or two.
I haven’t heard much in the way of feedback from bus operators or students in Bermuda, so don’t have any idea of the successes or failures, whether economically or other. Hopefully there’s a study or poll going around at this time.
In Barbados, where privately-owned minibuses and vans (ZRs) operate alongside (or in competition with) public buses, the owners of the private vehicles have shown concern over potential severe loss of income, on the flip side it does seem as though many students are taking advantage and if it saves them/their parents money then that’s of great benefit to them.
Bermuda’s a different animal, of course, because of a number of factors, but it may be interesting to observe the parallels over the rest of the year.
I was pleasantly surprised to see this bit on the PLP blog which highlighted what to me would have been an overlooked benefit, that is, setting up class field trips without scrambling to organise drivers and the like, a teacher can pretty much gather up the kids, get on a bus (wonder if the school wouldn’t have to pay for a charter bus, then) and go. Interesting.