The Inter-Island Transportation Fiasco… A Million Probing Questions & More!

8 May 2017


A Firstline Securities Limited Blog by: Winston Gordon

The transportation link between Trinidad and Tobago has been chock-full of unresolved problems over the last hundred years or so…and continues unabated.  This condition will not cease unless the controllers of the Port and Airport authorities ‘man up’ and do their jobs for which they are adequately compensated.

Image courtesy: https://ttitferry.com/vessels.php?mid=9

Governments come and Governments go; Ministers come and Ministers go: all presenting themselves as the “Moses of the People”, with almost convincing words which eventually turn out to be “lip-service” designed at giving the impression that we have an efficiently run inter-island service.

One hundred plus years and counting!  Who would have thought that the quality of service, or lack thereof, of our nation’s inter-island transportation is just as it was back then?  Would it not be silly to think that things are on the mend, with room for further improvement?  Some would think otherwise, but what do you think?

Whilst many of us travel between the islands for pleasure, other integral reasons include: from accessing healthcare and/or education, to transporting food-stuff, vehicles, hardware supplies, construction materials…and the list goes on.

There is quite often a noticeable absence of thoughtful planning when it comes to this transportation ‘service’.   Numerous tenders and contracts have been in hand for months, but have not been signed.  Maintenance problems are continuously besetting the service and thereby inconveniencing travellers.  Who is responsible for all of this? What corrective actions are being taken?

Furthermore, what is the root cause of the perpetual problems being experienced?  Is it the Management systems, Board decisions, Board Policies, negligence, a “don’t care” attitude, the absence of consequences for poor performance etc.? Are performances being effectively measured?  What is being regarded as ‘satisfactory’ or ‘less-than-satisfactory’ by Management?  What are the measurement tools being employed?

And more recently, and specifically, with regard to the fiasco surrounding the Superfast Galicia, is the planned proposed ‘band-aid solution’ dependable and adequate?

A million probing questions about our present state and more…

Now, let’s take a look at the future.

What can we, the people of Trinidad and Tobago, expect over the following years as we traverse between our two isles?  Will the quality of service elevate from the current unsatisfactory level, or would we continue to grapple with the same inefficiencies?  Will the suffering endured by us, the customers and consumers, ever be eased?

A wise man once said, “leaders must take responsibility for the wrongs committed against society.”

Maybe, just maybe, twenty years from today, the Rip Van Winkle(s) responsible for the present circumstances would wake-up from their slumber and remember the reason for their existence.  One can only be hopeful that if this does occur, such revelations would surface much sooner!

The morale of this story folks is: establishing, and continuously providing, efficient customer service.

Customer satisfaction is the key to customer retention.

Sounds simple and obvious – doesn’t it?

2 Responses to “The Inter-Island Transportation Fiasco… A Million Probing Questions & More!”

  1. Pearl Yatali-Gonzales says:

    As a customer I noted my own seeming acceptance of this service with a kind of apathy; A “whey yuh go do, is jes so we is.. dem big boys doh care bout de little people..” Perhaps with Watson Duke’s agitating some of the apathy would get shaken off and we would come up with a way to get the decision makers to improve their performance. I have traveled to Tobago for work during the months of April and May and used the ‘airbridge’.. of the fourteen trips made so far TWO (2) were ontime no delays and no problems. Every other flight was delayed, ranging between twenty (20) minutes to two (2) hours. and as a traveller/customer, my ONLY option was to grin and bear it. Since I have no other affordable means of travelling in this part of my country. It is a painful experience this sense of futility about an unwanted experience. – I can only imagine what this feels like if one had to do this on a daily/weekly basis. The ferry service is poor to none-existent and the ‘airbridge’ is a definitely not a bridge. So is it that as a customer I have not adequately expressed/communicated my dissatisfaction to the provider, so that s/he would make the necessary changes?

    • FSL says:

      Dear Pearl!

      Thank you very much for your feedback on this Blog.

      It is evident that this was a subject which resonated with not only you, but with a large number of our readers!

      Thank you again for your thoughts…and like you, we too hope that one day this situation would be rectified in an efficient and lasting manner.

      With kind regards,

      Winston Gordon
      Blog Author: The Inter-island Transportation Fiasco
      Firstline Securities Limited